Home' Greymouth Star : July 17th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, July 17, 2017 - 9
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 488 308 180 7 51
Canterbury 17 7 0 10 2 240 299 -59 18
SouthSydney 17 6 0 11 2 322 364 -42 16
WestsTigers 17 4 0 13 2 267 436 -169 12
The much maligned format for the
Super Rugby finals series is coming
in for more criticism, especially
from New Zealanders, now that the
protagonists have been settled.
The Brumbies will host a quarter-
final next Friday against the
Hurricanes, despite winning only
half as many games as the defending
champions and accumulating 24
“Super Rugby is idiots-ville,” the
New Zealand Herald fumed.
“The champion Hurricanes have
been treated with awful disrespect
by the Super Rugby system.”
One of New Zealand’s other
quarter-finalists, the Chiefs, have
to face the Stormers in Cape Town,
despite tallying two more wins and
14 more points.
The Brumbies and Stormers
earned a home game by finishing
top of their respective conferences,
while the Hurricanes and Chiefs
finished second and third in New
South Africa’s Lions, last year ’s
losing finalists, will conceivably
enjoy home advantage throughout
the play-offs, despite the fact their
14-1 season record was achieved
without playing a single New
They will not face New Zealand
opposition in the first week of the
finals either, hosting compatriots
the Sharks, who they defeated 27-
10 in D urban in the final round.
The Crusaders, who
unbeaten until a last round 31-22
away loss to the Hurricanes, also
finished 14-1, but logged two less
bonus points than the Lions.
In the pick of the the quarter-
finals, seven time champions the
Crusaders host the Highlanders,
who have gone 10-1 since a 1-3
start to the season.
The Brumbies, Australia’s lone
Super final representatives, finished
their regular season campaign
with successive losses after a vastly
understrength side lost 28-10 to
the Chiefs in Hamilton.
However, the Canberra-based
side will regain a stack of stars
rested from the game.
Among them are co-captain
and lock Sam Carter and fellow
Wallabies for wards Scott Sio, Allan
Alaalatoa and Rory Arnold and
test backs Joe Powell and Tevita
The Hurricanes thrashed the
Brumbies 56-21 earlier in the
The Brumbies will endeavour
to end a 31-match losing streak
by Australian teams against New
Zealand opposition, stretching
almost 14 months.
Also in the last round,
Queensland Reds crashed 40-17 to
the Highlanders in D unedin.
There was mixed fortunes for the
two Australian teams in danger of
being axed from the competition.
Western Force secured second
place in the Australian conference,
pummelling the NSW Waratahs
40-11 in Perth
Melbourne Rebels lost 32-29
at home to Argentina’s Jaguares
despite 22 points from Reece
Hodge and leading 16-3 in the first
Japan’s Sunwolves upset the Blues
48-21 in Tokyo to snap an eight-
match losing skid.
The Stormers beat the Bulls 41-
33 in Pretoria and the Cheetahs
shaded the Kings 21-20 in Port
Elizabeth in the battle between
the two South African sides being
culled from the competition.
Super rugby quarter-finals. —
Friday : 9.45pm,
Saturday: 7.35pm, 2-Crusaders
v 7-Highlanders, Christchurch;
Sunday: 12.30am, 1-Lions v
8-Sharks, Johannesburg; 1am,
3-Stormers v 6-Chiefs, Cape Town.
All Blacks fullback Ben Smith is
expected to take a sabbatical and miss
eight of the world champions’ test
matches later this year.
Smith signed a contract extension with
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) earlier this
year, with a sabbatical clause that allows
him to take a break from rugby. Former
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw,
flyhalf Dan Carter and centre Conrad
Smith had similar clauses in their final
contracts with NZR.
The Otago Highlanders captain would
exercise that clause after the All Blacks’
Rugby Championship clash against
Australia in his hometown of Dunedin
on August 26.
The 31-year-old Smith would therefore
miss the four remaining All Blacks tests
in the Rugby Championship, their third
Bledisloe Cup clash with the Wallabies
in Brisbane on October 21 and the three
tests on the end of year tour.
The All Blacks’ vice-captain has battled
concussion issues this season and was
ruled out of the final two tests of the
British and Irish series after failing a
head injury assessment in the first match
at Eden Park.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen,
however, said before the third test that
further checks had indicated Smith’s
concussion-like symptoms were being
caused by an inner-ear problem that
could be treated with medication.
While Smith is arguably the best
fullback in world rugby, Hansen would
have no problems filling the gap.
Israel Dagg moved back to his preferred
fullback role for the second Lions test
before rookie Jordie Barrett made his
first All Blacks start in the third match
of the series, which was drawn 1-1 .
Rugby World Cup winner Nehe
Milner-Skudder can also play fullback,
while two-test All Black Damian
McKenzie shapes as a replacement with
his utility value as a flyhalf as well.
Smith was rested for the Highlanders’
final Super Rugby game against the
Queensland Reds on Friday but is
expected to return for the side’s quarter-
final against the Canterbury Crusaders
in Christchurch this weekend.
No longer burdened by expectation,
big-stage reveller Garbine Muguruza has
emerged as women’s tennis’s next superstar
with a watershed Wimbledon final
Muguruza denied Venus Williams a
fairytale sixth crown at age 37 with an
explosive 7-5, 6-0 win to add the sport ’s
most famous trophy to her 2016 French
Victory also atoned for a painful loss to
Williams’s sister Serena in the 2015 final at
The All England Club as the 23-year-old
became the first player to conquer both
American siblings in a grand slam title
“ When I knew I was playing Venus in
the final, I was actually looking for ward for
it,” Muguruza said, having brought down
Serena at Roland Garros last year.
“People were surprised when I said in the
French Open that I (wanted) Serena in the
final. But that ’s the final. A Wimbledon
final with Serena and (now) Venus ... you
know, she won five times, so she knows
how to play. For me, it was a challenge to
have her, growing up watching her play.
Everybody started laughing. But, in fact, is
something incredible. I was so excited to go
out there and win, especially over somebody
like a role model.”
Muguruza’s stunning victory comes a
month after losing to Australian Ashleigh
Barty in Birmingham and then wrapping
up her Wimbledon preparations with a
6-1, 6-0 surrender to Barbora Strycova in
Set to climb back to second in the
rankings, the one-time world No 2 admits
consistency is not her strong point. But she
lives for the big stages.
“Eastbourne was such a short tournament,
I didn’t play well there,” Muguruza said.
“But I did the week before, so that helped
me. I always come very motivated to the
grand slams. I don’t know. Since I lost the
final here, I wanted to change that. I came
thinking I’m prepared, I feel good.
“D uring the tournament and the matches,
I was feeling better and better. Every
match, I was increasing my level. ”
Almost immediately after the
presentation, The All England Club’s
newest member dashed inside to see her
name added to Wimbledon’s honour roll.
“ It was amazing,” Muguruza said.
“I always look at the wall and see all the
names and all the history. I lost that final.
I’m like, I was close. I didn’t wanted to lose
this time because I know the difference. So
happy that it’s there now.”
Muguruza is the first Spanish woman
to reign at Wimbledon since her now
co-coach Conchita Martinez crushed
Martina Navratilova’s hopes of a 10th
success in 1994.
Long tipped as the next player to
dominate beyond the Williams era,
Muguruza hopes her next grand slam title
defence proves more successful than her
shock first-round loss in Paris.
“It’s not easy. It’s very good when you win
it, and it’s hard after when you come back
and you know you have to defend it,” she
said. “But that ’s a good problem to have.
I’m happy to be in this situation. I’m happy
that once again I see myself winning a
grand slam, something that is so hard to do.
It means a lot. It means a lot of confidence.”
A feisty George Bennett
sur vived another taxing
day on the Tour de France
but has fallen another
place overall to twelfth.
Seeking to become the
first New Zealander to
finish in the Tour’s top-10
on general classification,
Bennett suffered only a
minor setback when he
crossed the line 32nd
in the 189km 15th
stage from Laissac-
Severac-l’Eglise to Le
Although he was more
than six minutes behind
Dutch stage winner
Bauke Mollema, he was
in a group alongside
several leading lights
including overall leader
Froome remains 6min
39sec ahead of LottoNL-
Jumbo rider Bennett, who
was looking for ward to
the last rest day of the
tour on Monday.
Mountain stages on
Wednesday and Thursday
should determine whether
Bennett can complete his
In the meantime, he
found the energy to hit
out at race officials, who
last week penalised him
20 seconds for accepting
a drink bottle from a
spectator. That penalty
was successfully appealed.
are getting too close to
riders, who are often
getting a free ride in their
have a cry over taking
water from a spectator
but turn a blind eye to
teams riding on the back
of the tv moto??” Bennett
tweeted. “ I’m not having
a go at any riders, I would
do the same — just get
them out of the way. ”
Following a day washed out at
the under-18 girls’ national hockey
tournament in Carterton, West
Coast met South Canterbury, a
team unlucky not to make the
Played on a wet field, West Coast
struggled to make headway against
the Timaru team.
With the ball often slowed up
with the surface water West Coast ’s
young team lacked the power
needed to move the ball and soon
gave up a penalty corner from
which South Canterbury scored to
take the lead after 12 minutes.
Even play followed with West
Coast starting to put their passes
together and before the break Kate
Marfell put a pass across the goal
mouth for Brooke Smith, on the
post, to tap in and level the score.
The second half started fairly even,
but after 15 minutes West Coast ’s
defence was caught flat-footed and
gave away a penalty corner and
South Canterbury scored to take a
The final quarter was all South
Canterbury as West Coast struggled
to clear their circle and giving away
numerous penalty corners one of
which was successful to make the
final score South Canterbury 3,
West Coast 1.
With the number of penalty
corners Coast conceded the defence
did a good job in keeping the score
West Coast were on a good field
for their second game of the day,
After a slow start they looked in
with a chance only for the defence
to get caught too far up field and
in the second quarter Horowhenua
scored with a runaway effort.
Shortly before half-time West
Coast let in a second goal.
Horowhenua again pressured West
Coast goal to add a third field goal.
Halfway through the second spell
Horowhenua went further ahead
from a penalty corner, although
West Coast had a few chances to
score they could not get the ball in
the net until the last five minutes,
when Brooke Smith carried the
ball into the circle and put West
Coast on the scoreboard, making
the final score Horowhenua 4, West
Although not winning a game,
West Coast played good hockey
at times and never gave up against
some strong teams but faltered
when playing the lesser teams and
on unfamiliar wet surfaces.
Scott Dixon’s lead in the Indy Car series
has shrunk to three points after a frustrating
round in Toronto.
The New Zealand series leader finished
10th today, spending most of the race
recovering from a first-lap collision
with Australian driver Will Power and a
The Honda Indy Toronto was won by
American Josef Newgarden, who is one of
four drivers sitting within sight of Dixon
entering the last five legs of the 17-round
The closest is Brazilian Helio Castroneves,
who claimed an early lead in the 85-lap
street race but faded to eighth.
Series defending champion Simon
Pagenaud is third, followed by Newgarden.
Power’s series hopes dived after his
involvement in the collision ended his race,
leaving him a distant fifth overall.
Dixon was forced into a lengthy pit stop
for repairs to his left rear suspension.
Officials deemed he took ser vices from
his Chip Ganassi Racing team which were
“ beyond the required services”, issuing a
drive-through penalty down pit lane.
The four-time series champion made his
way through the field to fourth after 62 laps
of the street circuit but he emerged 11th
after his final pit stop. Round 13 is in Ohio
in two weeks.
Standings. — Scott Dixon (NZ) 423, Helio
Castroneves (Brazil) 420, Simon Pagenaud
(France) 404, Josef Newgarden (USA) 400,
Will Power (Australia) 359.
They were meant to crumble without
Johnathan Thurston, but North
Queensland reinforced their claim for
a top-four NRL finish with a third
straight win yesterday.
The Cowboys’ convincing 23-10 win
over South Sydney in Cairns on Sunday
meant they finished the round in sixth
spot, but equal on points with third-
North Queensland are now undefeated
since being told of Thurston’s season-
ending shoulder injury last month, a
blow many thought would cruel their
“ We’d love to have him playing but
the reality is he’s not,” coach Paul Green
“ You do need to move on, and move on
pretty quickly in this competition. That ’s
one thing we can give our team a rap for.
“As devastated as we have been that
his season is finished we’ve got our
head around it and everyone is looking
for ward to the challenge that is ahead
The win was also the Cowboys’ sixth
victory of the year in 10 games without
Thurston, improving on their previous
woeful record of 3-10 without him since
the start of 2012.
While North Queensland were
comfortable yesterday, Manly were
anything but against the struggling
But their come-from-behind 28-16
win was enough to keep them behind
only ladder-leaders Melbourne and the
Sydney Roosters after 19 rounds, with
all sides having now had their two byes.
“As soon as that Origin period finishes
the stakes go up,” Manly coach Trent
“All the games are important now.
We’re going to be playing teams fighting
for a top-four finish or fighting to stay in
the hunt to jag an eighth-spot position.”
The Sea Eagles’ victory meant they
were able to leapfrog Cronulla, who
were trounced 30-10 by the Gold Coast
on Saturday night.
The loss left the Sharks fifth, after
Brisbane also did it the hard way in
overcoming a half-time deficit to beat
last-placed Newcastle and move into
fourth on Saturday.
Parramatta are two points further back
in seventh after their final bye, while
St George Illawarra are only one win
clear of the chasing pack in eighth after
their golden-point loss to Canberra on
It moved the Raiders to 10th with their
finals hopes still in tact, while Penrith
remain ninth after knocking over the
Warriors on Friday — who lost Shaun
Johnson to a potentially season-ending
knee injury. — AAP
Ben Smith taking break from All Blacks
PICTURE: Getty Images
Garbine Muguruza celebrates victory alongside runner-up Venus Williams at Wimbledon yesterday.
Muguruza claims Wimbledon crown
Coast girls win-less at U18 nationals
Australia scored in the final
minute to see off New Zealand 2-1
in their hockey World League Semi
Final pool match in Johannesburg.
The Black Sticks suffered their
first loss at the tournament but are
guaranteed a place in the knockout
phase regardless of the result of
their last pool game against Spain.
The top four teams advance, with
New Zealand having already done
enough courtesy of a 3-3 draw with
France and 3-1 defeat of Japan.
Australia has won three from
three courtesy of penalty corner
goals, sur viving their toughest
test courtesy of goals to Jeremy
Edwards and Jeremy Hayward in
the final seven minutes.
Edwards picked up a save from
goalkeeper Devon Manchester to
score from a reverse stick before
Hayward ripped home a flicked
goal with just 40 seconds remaining.
Black Sticks coach Darren Smith
was disappointed his team could
not defend a lead, set up by Jared
Panchia’s diving tap-in goal in the
“I thought we played well for
the first three quarters but then
allowed Australia to take control,”
he said. “ We put together some
good hockey but in the fourth
quarter we sat back too deep and
were a bit tentative, which Australia
capitalised on. ”
Smith is a demanding a win over
Spain later today, which would
provide a better ranking heading
into the quarter-finals. — NZ N
Black Sticks beaten by Aussies
Cowboys launch assault on top four
Prang scuppers Dixon
New Zealand drivers Brendon
Hartley and Earl Bamber have
won the latest round of the World
Endurance Championships in
Germany to extend their overall
A month after their triumph
at the famed Le Mans 24 Hours
race, Hartley, Bamber and German
Timo Bernhard combined to win
the 6 Hours of Nurburgring.
The result pushes the Porsche
trio 30 points clear of their nearest
rivals from Toyota after four of
nine rounds in the WEC.
Their toughest competition came
from the second Porsche hybrid car
in the LMP1 class driven by Andre
Lotterer, Neel Jani and Nick Tandy.
The two teams were rarely more
than 10 seconds apart throughout
the 204-lap journey, with a gap of
just 1.606 seconds separating them
at the chequered flag.
Bamber enjoyed the battle, which
was effectively decided when his
car spent less time in the pits than
their rivals when both stopped for
a late fuel top-up.
“O ur car was stronger on new
tyres and the other car came on
stronger later, but it was also about
aero degradation,” he said. “One
minute we’d have the problem and
then they would have it.”
The fifth round is in Mexico in
September. — N Z N
Hartley, Bamber extend lead
Black Sox top of world
The Black Sox
in Canada to
take the world
title for the
the last being
in 2013 in
Joel Evans hit
a home run with
the bases loaded
to give the Black
Sox the lead in
the top of the
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