Home' Greymouth Star : March 27th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
St George Illawarra continue to
defy their critics, maintaining their
footing in the NRL top-four with
an impressive 26-12 defeat of the
Warriors last night.
The Warriors suffered a massive
blow before kick-off when five-eighth
Kieran Foran was ruled out of what
was supposed to be his long-awaited
NRL comeback due to a hamstring
tear suffered during the warm-up.
Pegged as wooden spoon contenders
by plenty of pundits before the season,
Paul McGregor’s outfit jumped to
third with their third win from four
Big men Paul Vaughan and Jack
de Belin — who have started the
year in NSW State of Origin form
— once again led the way in front
of a 11,608-strong crowd as the
Dragons parlayed their middle-third
dominance into points.
Off-contract Dragons five-eighth
Gareth Widdop became just the
third player to join the joint-venture’s
500-point club to only sit behind
Jamie Soward (665) and Mark Riddell
The Warriors had 24 tackles inside
their opposition 20m zone (compared
to the Dragons’ 22) but could not
convert it into points as the home
side’s resilient defence stood tall.
Foran was set to play his first game
in 300 days but will now have to wait
at least another week with his 11th-
hour withdrawal seemingly shaking
his new team-mates.
The Dragons jumped to a 20-2 lead
at the 23-minute mark as they ran
in soft tries through Vaughan, Josh
McCrone and Josh Dugan.
As the half wore on, the Dragons
took their foot off the
pedal and invited the
Warriors down their
end before Issac Luke
charged over from
dummy half to make it
20-8 at the break.
And when Josh
Dugan put his foot
over the dead-ball line
fielding the kick-off
to start the second 40,
Ken Maumalo dived
over in the corner the
next set to get the
Warriors back in the
However the Dragons
righted the ship when
decided to run it on
the last tackle and Tim
Lafai stepped his way
through some lazy
defence to score.
The Warriors failed
to celebrate Simon
game as their skipper
notched a club-record 262nd match
to go past legendary halfback Stacey
The Warriors sit in the bottom four
after the opening month and the
question remains whether Foran can
transform them into the top-eight side
they appear to be on paper.
Widdop revealed he was involved in
a car accident — in which his vehicle
was written off — before the game,
however, shook off the effects to lead
his side to victory.
McGregor said it was foolhardy to
consider the Dragons contenders after
just a month but lauded their start to
the campaign. “It’s nice to be where
we are and the guys have worked really
well and they ’re creating a really nice
environment to be around,” McGregor
“They ’re getting confidence week to
week. Footy is strange, seven days can
be a long time as we’ve seen before.
“ Now we’ve got to play against a
desperate team in the Wests Tigers.”
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney
said it was too early to tell how serious
Foran’s hamstring injury was, however,
initial signs were he was not set for a
long stint on the sidelines.
Kearney said the loss of Foran —
which forced Blake Ayshford to play
his second game in two days after
turning out for the Warriors’ reser ve
grade side on Saturday — rocked his
team in the opening quarter of the
“Particularly early we made a fair few
errors coming out of the back field
and the Dragons just jumped on us,”
“After that first 15-20 minutes the
scoreline was 12-6 (for the remainder
of the game).
“ We settled ourselves back in to the
contest but we just couldn’t mount
pressure because our error rate was too
high.” — NZN
Emotion drove the Wests Tigers
to their best start to an NRL
game this season season, against
Melbourne yesterday, but it could
not return them to the winners’ list.
The Tigers showed serious
signs of improvement, under
interim coach Andrew Webster,
in yesterday ’s 22-14 loss to
Melbourne, just six days after
former mentor Jason Taylor was
sacked. They missed 19 less tackles
and made 10 less errors compared
to last week’s 40-point drubbing
in Canberra, the same match that
caused the upheaval.
While emotion was able to spur
them on for the first half, and to an
early 14-0 lead, it could not carry
them through the full 80 minutes
as they conceded 22 unanswered
Captain Aaron Woods was
left to ponder how they can
keep the motivation burning for
next Sunday against St George
“It’s easy to get up for these sort
of games,” Woods said. “ But it’s
how we’re going to react for next
week when it dies down a bit and
we’ve just got to work hard for
The win left the Storm as just
one of two undefeated clubs after
the opening month, alongside the
Sydney Roosters who beat rivals
South Sydney 20-6 on Thursday
Meanwhile, the mantle of
the most under-pressure coach
was passed on to Des Hasler
after Manly’s 36-0 flogging of
Canterbury on Saturday.
The win marked the Sea Eagles’
first win at Lottoland since last
July, but was the Bulldogs’ seventh
loss in eight games.
Hasler is off-contract at the end
of the season, and pushing for a
two-year extension at the club.
by a Jordan
goal in their
in a high-
scoring 32-26 loss on Saturday.
Newcastle are also one from four
after suffering their biggest loss of
the campaign, 40-0 to a Penrith
side that flexed their muscle.
Former Panthers hooker James
Segeyaro then made his NRL
return for Cronulla on Saturday, as
the defending premiers knocked
over Parramatta 20-6 at ANZ
Stadium to leave both sides on
Monday, March 27, 2017 - 9
All Whites coach Anthony Hudson
has a few decisions still to make ahead
of tomorrow’s return leg of their World
Cup qualifying series against Fiji in
Second-half goals from Chris Wood
and Marco Rojas set up the 2-0 win
in Lautoka on Saturday, but the New
Zealanders had to work hard in hot and
With only two days between matches,
Hudson says he will be monitoring
his players carefully as they prepare for
tomorrow ’s match.
“Given the conditions and humidity, it
took a little bit out of us in terms of us
having that last little bit of energy and
playing with a little bit of purpose,” he
“Some players were feeling a little bit
of cramp, and we were having to change
decisions at the last minute. But we’re
pleased we got through, we kept a clean
sheet and everybody’s healthy.”
Hudson said it was testament to the
depth of the All Whites squad that the
win didn’t need key players to over-extend
themselves in the Lautoka heat. He was
able to introduce key player Tommy
Smith for a late run in Lautoka, the
26-year-old Ipswich defender stretching
his legs as an 88th minute replacement.
Phoenix striker Shane Smeltz also
played a late cameo, on for Clayton L ewis
in the 77th minute.
“Both of them are a big influence on the
team, they ’re both a big presence,” he said.
“Now we can go to the next game and
if we choose, if we need, we can make a
few more changes to make sure we have a
fresh team starting the game.”
Hudson said while it was encouraging
to keep a clean sheet, it was also important
to keep the goals coming at the other
“ We keep stressing that we take pride
in keeping clean sheets and being hard
to beat, but we also want to score goals.
I think we created a lot of really good
chances, although we can do a lot better.”
The Blues have finally
effort, running in five second-
half tries to outplay the Bulls
38-14 in their Super Rugby
clash at Eden Park.
The South Africans offered
little resistance in the second
40 minutes on Saturday after
matching the Blues 7-7 at
half-time. Only an 80th-
minute try to replacement
halfback Rudy Paige restored
respectability to the scoreline.
The Blues had desperately
needed a win after successive
losses to the Chiefs,
Crusaders and Highlanders,
and started on the right
note with a try inside three
The attack came off a solid
lineout, gathered momentum
with good support play and
sharp handling down the left
touchline and was finished in
style by halfback Augustine
Piers Francis’s conversion
gave the Blues a 7-0 lead,
but the Bulls hit back in
traditional style after a
superb Handre Pollard kick
found touch just five metres
out from the try-line.
The South African rolling
maul rumbled into action
from the attacking line-
out as the visitors showed
patience and control before
prop Lizo Gqoboka reached
out an arm to touch down
near the posts.
Pollard’s conversion levelled
the scores, but although the
Blues continued to secure
plenty of possession, a series
of handling errors and ill-
timed turnovers around the
ruck meant they could not
capitalise. The 7-7 half-time
scoreline lasted just five
minutes after the restart.
Fullback Michael Collins
attacked the line, offloaded
to winger Matt Duffie who
showed quick feet and a
solid fend before racing clear
to touch down and give the
Blues a 14-7 lead.
Duffie extended the lead
10 minutes later, timing his
run to latch onto a perfectly
weighted Francis cross-field
kick to dot down in the
Ahead 19-7, the Blues
looked well in control until
flanker Jimmy Tupou’s yellow
card for a neck-hold tackle
set them back on edge as the
hour mark approached.
The Bulls could not find
the field position to take
advantage, however, and the
Blues struck a telling blow
while still a man down when
replacement first-five eighth
Ihaia West dived over for the
bonus point try.
They finished with a hiss
and roar and Matt Moulds
and Melani Nanai both
crossed as the Blues ran with
Blues deliver six-try Super win over Bulls
Hudson upbeat after All Whites win
American D ustin
Johnson became the
first player to win
all four World Golf
when he claimed the
WGC-Dell Match Play
in Texas today.
World No 1 and
top seed Johnson beat
Spanish 21st seed Jon
Rahm 1-up in the
18-hole final at Austin
Johnson built a 5-up
lead after eight holes
and held on, though only
barely, after a late Rahm
rally that cut the lead to
1-up after 16 holes.
“ Today was a really
“I’m proud of the way I
played, the way I stayed
in there, even though
he (Rahm) made some
birdies on the back
nine,” Johnson told NBC
television after sinking
his winning putt from
inside three feet at the
Johnson earlier barely
survived his semi-final
against 54th seed Hideto
Tanihara, winning 1-up
after the Japanese player
missed a good chance to
win the 18th hole.
Rahm beat American
42nd seed Bill Haas
3and2 in the other semi.
It was Johnson’s third
after he won the event
formerly known as
the Los Angeles Open
and then the WGC-
Johnson’s five WGC
titles puts him second
behind Tiger Woods,
who has 18.
Johnson said the key to
victory had been avoiding
“I didn’t give him any holes,
except for 10 (where) I three-
putted. It was tough out there.
“The greens got really fast, the
wind was affecting all the putts.
Jon played really well. I just didn’t
really give him anything.”
In a final that matched two of
the game’s longest hitters, Johnson
looked set to cruise to victory
thanks to his big early lead, but it
got interesting near the end.
Rahm, 3-down with four holes
left, came to life, winning the
par-four 15th with a birdie before
taking the par-five 16th with
another birdie, sinking a 30ft
after an astonishing second shot
from the rough that he somehow
threaded through an oak tree.
Rahm then drove through the
green at the par-four 18th, ending
up over the back, from where,
perhaps distracted by a loud
sudden banging noise just as he
started his swing, he misjudged his
80ft chip shot and could only par,
allowing Johnson to escape with
In the match for third place,
Haas beat Tanihara 2and1, though
the loser at least enjoyed a hole-
in-one at the par-three seventh.
Top seed Angelique Kerber
advanced to the fourth round at the
Miami Open today, but eighth seed
Madison Keys was sent packing.
On a day when Svetlana
Kuznetsova and Venus Williams
also won their third-round matches,
Kerber did not have it all her own
way against 61st-ranked American
The German, however, proved
too strong ultimately, breaking five
times for a 6-4, 7-5 win on the main
stadium hardcourt at Crandon Park.
“ It’s always good to have close sets,
especially when you win them at the
end. They give you confidence that
you can go out in your next match
knowing you can win close matches
because you’ve just done it a day
ago,” Kerber told reporters.
“ You win the match, you’re always
happy about your performance. In
the second set, she was 4-2 up and
we’d played a long game. That was
important because she was playing
well, but I was staying positive and
believing in my chances. I think that
was the key to the match.”
Keys fell to 72nd-ranked Spaniard
Lara Arruabarrena 7-5, 7-5. She
was playing her second tournament
since returning from wrist surgery.
Russian seventh seed Kuznetsova,
the runner-up last year, stayed
on track for another tilt at the
championship when she bested
American qualifier Taylor Townsend
A week after losing the Indian
Wells final to compatriot Elena
Vesnina, Kuznetsova’s stronger
second ser ve proved the difference,
as she was broken just once while
breaking her opponent four times.
The next challenge for 2006
champion Kuznetsova will be 11th
seed Venus Williams, a three-time
Miami champion, who was far too
good for Romanian qualifier Patricia
Maria Tig 6-3, 6-0 .
British 10th seed Johanna Konta
and Australian 14th seed Sam
Stosur also won their third round
Second seed Kei Nishikori of
Japan outlasted Spain’s Fernando
Verdasco 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 6-1 in a
nearly three-hour marathon at the
Miami Open today.
The victory came hours after third-
seeded Milos Raonic of Canada,
suffering from a hamstring injury,
withdrew before his third-round
Nishikori, the runner-up to Novak
Djokovic last year, fired 37 winners
but Verdasco, aided by persistent
swirling winds, used his varying
pace and depth to rattle the eventual
winner, inducing 48 unforced errors.
Verdasco rallied to force a first-
set tie-break after trailing 3-0 but
backhand winner enabled him to
take the set.
Nishikori ser ved for the match at
5-4 in the second set but Verdasco
saved a match point to break back
and eventually forced a decider with
a scorching cross-court backhand.
Nishikori won six of seven games
in the third set to advance to the
Round of 16.
Raonic had been scheduled to play
American qualifier Jared Donaldson
in a third-round match.
“It’s related to the previous injury
I sustained almost four weeks ago...
in Delray Beach,” he told reporters.
“It’s the same muscle in the
hamstring, up high. It got
progressively worse after my first
round. It seemed like it was not
possible for me to compete today
without putting myself at significant
Raonic said he would not return
until he felt 100% fit again.
“That could be in two weeks; that
could be a little bit longer.”
PICTURE: Getty Images
Dragons Euan Aitken is tackled by Warriors Simon Mannering in last night’s clash at UOW
Jubilee Oval, in Sydney.
Tigers thrive on
emotion, but no
NRL win eludes
Dragons too hot for Warriors
Nishikori outlasts Verdasco
Kerber pushes on
A Scottish boxer has died in Thailand of
Jordan Coe, 20, was found dead in a heavy
tracksuit and is understood to have been trying
to reach a certain weight for a professional fight.
Coe was a professional Muay Thai boxer and
formerly trained at a gym in Glasgow.
Craig Floan, his coach at Glasgow Thai
Boxing Academy was told about his death in a
“Jordan was found this morning, he died in
Thailand and the embassy there think he died
from heatstroke,” he said.
“He moved to Thailand to chase his dream of
becoming a professional after being with me for
three and half years. We’ve set up a fundraiser
for him and I’m now trying to help raise enough
money to bring him home.”
Coe had been scheduled to fight a Cambodian
boxer in the Muang district tonight and was
expected to return to Scotland in summer to
fight at the Glasgow Thai Boxing Academy.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “ We are
providing assistance to the family of a British
national following their death in Thailand. Our
thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”
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