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Stephen Kearney admits several of his
Warriors troops are a tad lucky to retain their
roles for Sunday ’s NRL clash with Canberra
but believes wholesale squad changes
Issac Luke has dropped to the bench for
this weekend’s match in Auckland after a
horror showing in the Warriors’ 26-10 loss to
Newcastle last week.
Versatile young gun Nathaniel Roache will
instead wear the No 9 jumper.
With the Warriors officially out of NRL
finals contention, Kearney now has the
opportunity to ditch underperforming
players and blood young talent — but has
elected not to do so, barring Luke’s demotion.
He told reporters yesterday that he had
considered wielding the axe — having lashed
out at some players for not trying against the
last-placed Knights — but felt better options
were few and far between.
The club’s reser ve-grade side currently sit
third on their ladder, but the Warriors youth
squad has struggled throughout 2017 and
languish in last place.
“ Yeah, there are a couple lads that are lucky,”
“Again, if I thought there were better
options, as I keep saying — I would certainly
make those changes. I’m not going to change
my view, regardless of the situation that we
find ourselves in. I’ll make the necessary
changes I think will be of benefit.”
Despite Kearney’s process-driven approach
to his maiden campaign in the Warriors hot
seat, the Aucklanders have been typically
flaky and currently sit in 12th place, with just
seven wins from 20 matches.
A number of players will depart the club at
the end of the campaign, including seasoned
first-graders Ryan Hoffman and Kieran
Foran, as well as the likely exits of Bodene
Thompson, Jacob Lillyman and Charlie
Tohu Harris and Leivaha Pulu will join the
club in 2018, with further signings expected
in the front row, where Adam Blair and James
Graham are linked.
Kearney said he had the full backing of
Warriors chief Jim Doyle to stick to his guns,
having declined to publicly set a target at the
start of 2017.
His focus remained on improvement and
preparation, rather than outcomes, but
admitted something would have to eventually
“In terms of how long it’ll take, well, it’s
a game measured on results and I’ll have to
make some tough calls if it’s starting to take
too long,” Kearney said.
“ But I understand the position we’re in as
a football club, and with the (playing) roster.
My hands are a little tied.” — AAP
Peter Burling looks set to have a
crack at sailing’s triple crown, with the
Olympic gold medallist and America’s
Cup winner being lined up by Team
Brunel for the upcoming Volvo Ocean
Burling will join the D utch-flagged
team in the next stage of the qualifying
race — referred to as “leg zero” —
from Plymouth to St Malo beginning
The addition of Burling to the crew for
the next stage is the first real signal of his
intent to do the iconic round the world
race having been coy about his plans up
Team Brunel have yet to finalise their
crew for the race, which gets under way
in Alicante, Spain in late October, but it
is thought Burling has officially signed
The 26-year-old may only take part
in selected legs however, with Burling
reluctant to commit to a full campaign
after an exceptionally busy few years.
After winning gold at the Rio Olympics,
Burling had barely a week off before
linking back up with Team New Zealand
for testing and development.
Burling told Radio Sport last month
he would consider doing the Volvo if he
could make it fit in with his plans.
“There’s still a bit of stuff up in the
air and I’m just working through a few
options at the moment, figuring out
what ’s best to do,” he said.
summer . . . I’m trying to factor that in.
It ’s still a possibility for sure and I’m just
trying to weigh it in with everything else
I want to do.”
Burling’s inclusion in the Dutch team
will see him go head-to-head with
his Olympic sailing partner and close
mate, Blair Tuke, who will be on board
Spanish team Mapfre.
The pair are in the hunt to become
the first sailor in history to pull off the
triple crown by becoming and Olympic,
America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race
champion, but unlike their previous
successes, they cannot pull it off together.
Like Mapfre, Team Brunel, skippered
by ocean racing veteran Bouwe Bekking,
is a well-established team and considered
one of the frontrunners for the 2017-18
edition. After the first two stages of “leg
zero” Mapfre lead the rankings on 15
points, while Brunel are tied for second
with Chinese entry Dongfeng Race
Burling may have a compatriot on
board Team Brunel, with fellow double
Olympic medallist Jo Aleh in trials with
the Dutch team. Aleh was on board for
the first two stages of leg zero, and is
expected to find out over the next week
if she has been selected.
If Aleh signs up, she will be the first
New Zealand woman to do the round
the world race in 15 years. — NZME
Thursday, August 10, 2017
PICTURE: Getty Images
Black Ferns’ Selica Winiata breaks clear to score against Wales in today’s Women's Rugby World Cup
match in Dublin.
The Crusaders have been overlooked
in the Super Rugby team of the season
unveiled by governing body Sanzaar.
Despite three New Zealand teams
reaching the semi-finals, there are only
six New Zealand players among the
That includes a lone for ward, Ardie
Savea, who is one of three Hurricanes in
The Crusaders won 17 of 18 games as
they marched to an eighth title but none
of their players have won the nod in a
side selected largely on statistical output.
The Sanzaar player of the year for
a second straight season is Chiefs
fullback Damian McKenzie, who led
the competition in several attacking
Sanzaar’s Super Rugby team of the
season: Damian McKenzie (Chiefs),
Cheslin Kolbe (Stormers), Samu Kerevi
(Reds), Ngani Laumape (Hurricanes),
James Lowe (Chiefs), Beauden Barrett
(Hurricanes), Augustine Pulu (Blues),
Amanaki Mafi (Rebels), Ardie Savea
(Hurricanes), Jaco Kriel (Lions), Pieter-
Steph du Toit (Stormers), Guido Petti
Pagadizabal ( Jaguares), Allan Alaalatoa
(Brumbies), Malcolm Marx (Lions),
Jacques van Rooyen (Lions). — NZ N
New Zealand’s players are being
asked to embrace the hostility of
the Lebanon home crowd in their
second pool game at the Asia Cup
tournament in Beirut.
The Tall Blacks are being
prepared for a significantly sterner
task tomorrow morning than
their opening 70-49 win over
Coach Paul Henare noted the
deafening support for world No 43
Lebanon at the Nouhad Nawfal
Stadium when they toppled
30th-ranked South Korea 72-66
in the other pool game.
While New Zealand are ranked
even higher at 20, most of their
leading players are being rested
from the 16-nation tournament.
Henare expects the atmosphere
to be an eye-opener for his
relatively green group.
“It will be like nothing else they
have ever experienced and who
knows, they might not experience
the like again in their careers,” he
“That is nothing to get uptight
about though. You can’t control the
crowd, so why try?
“Embrace the noise, embrace the
hostility and play though it.”
Henare said it would be
important to shut down Lebanon
guard Wael Arakji, who scored
22 points against South Korea
and controlled the tempo of the
rounded team, he added.
“They are a very experienced
side, they play with great passion
and love playing in front of their
home fans and be puffing their
chests out for sure,” Henare said.
The last-placed team in pool play
is eliminated while teams who
place second and third advance to
the first knockout round.
The pool winners go directly into
New Zealand’s outside backs have
run amok to open their women’s rugby
World Cup campaign with a 44-12 win
over Wales in D ublin.
Fullback Selica Winiata bagged a
hat-trick while there was a double for
winger Renee Wickliffe as the four-time
champions started the tournament in
resounding fashion in ideal afternoon
Seven of the eight tries went to outside
backs, with winger Portia Woodman and
centre Stacey Waaka also registering.
The exception to the rule was one try to
lock Eloise Blackwell.
The winning margin would have
been greater were it not for wayward
goalkicking performance from halfback
She landed two-of-seven conversion
attempts and spent 10 minutes in the
sin bin late in the game for a deliberate
Wales were competitive for much of
the first half but a rapid-fire double on
the stroke of half-time to player of the
match Wickliffe — including an 80m
intercept try — put the Black Ferns
20-0 ahead at the break.
The robust efforts of world No 10
Wales were rewarded through tries in
the final quarter to for wards Sioned
Harries and Melissa Clay, the latter
while New Zealand were reduced to 14.
Captain Fiao’o Faamausili, competing
at her fifth World Cup, admits some
early rust was evident, particularly at
“ I think we were too eager, there were
a lot of mistakes in that first 20 minutes
but once we got going we had a good
running game out wide,” the veteran
hooker said. “I’m pleased with the result
and it ’s good to have the first game
under the belt.”
Faamausili praised her team’s defence
and their ability to create space for a
speedy back division.
The Black Ferns can expect a
straightfor ward win over Hong Kong
in their second pool match on Sunday
after the minnows opened with a 98-0
drubbing from Canada.
World No 3 Canada shape as dangerous
opponents for the New Zealanders in
the final round of pool play.
Elsewhere, world No 1 and defending
champions England hammered Spain
56-5 while Ireland pipped Australia
19-17 in the day ’s closest match.
PICTURE: Viv Logie
League packs to schools
Cobden School pupils Ty Wall, left front, Chanel Alison, Storm King, middle, Latai Tau, Kayne Wall and Hemi Pickering, back,
are all smiles after receiving a pack of rugby league balls, tee shirts and a large poster with ideas on how to play backyard rugby
league. West Coast Rugby League coaching and development officer Paddy Byrne said about 700 schools from around New Zealand
received packs to celebrate the Rugby League World Cup, which will be played in New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Australia
from October 27 to December 2.
Black Ferns outclass Wales
Winiata scores hat-trick
Crusaders snubbed in
Sanzaar team of season
Tall Blacks braced for hostile crowd
Des Hasler has hailed the defensive
grit of Canterbury despite everyone at
Belmore being under a mountain of
pressure following a forgettable NRL
With your club at 7-13 and set to miss
the NRL finals for the first time in six
years, “super pleased” is a curious way to
summarise your team’s effort.
However the Bulldogs coach is
sticking solid behind his charges.
“ We haven’t executed as well as we
could,” Hasler said when asked what
has gone wrong this year.
don’t think we’ve managed
possession well. But that ’ doesn’t
undermine the effort that the players
have been displaying.
“I’m super pleased with the effort
that they ’re working at, particularly
in defence. That ’s reflected in their
numbers. But at the end of the day
we have to be realists and it’s results-
The Bulldogs have conceded 377
points this year, the eighth-best
defensive record in the league and
putting them equal with above the likes
of Penrith and Manly who are finals
However their attacking woes are
there for all to see.
They are yet to score over 24 points
in a game this season and according to
Fox Sports Stat the last time they failed
to do this was in 1978. They have scored
264 points this year and are on track to
rack up less than Hazem El Masri did
on his own during his record breaking
season in 2014, when he scored 342
Reportedly under salary cap pressure
to offload players to accommodate the
impending arrivals of Kieran Foran and
Aaron Woods, there are some in the
Belmore locker room fighting for their
Likewise Hasler is under the pump
to keep his job despite the fact his new
two- year contract has not even kicked
Souths will again field teenage winger
Campell Graham tonight after handing
him his debut last week while Aaron
Gray returned from an Achilles injury
on the opposite flank after a month out.
Chase Stanley will again start at
halfback for the Dogs.
Burling joins Dutch
team ahead of
Volvo Ocean Race
Hasler defends Dogs
Not enough depth to wield
axe, says Kearney
Andy Murray has
pulled out of the
Masters due to an
ongoing hip injury.
The British world No 1
has not played since his
defeat to Sam Querrey,
but still hopes to fit for
next month’s US Open.
“Unfortunately I won’t
be playing in Cincinnati
as I continue my
recovery. I always enjoy
playing there and I look
for ward to returning
next year,” Murray said.
“I’m continuing to work
hard on the court with
the aim of being in New
Murray ’s insistence
that he could still play
in New York is a good
sign after initial fears his
injury could rule him
out for the rest of the
He went into
the defence of his
Wimbledon title with
the injury and kept it at
bay for the early rounds
before visibly struggling
against the big-hitting
Querrey. — PA
Murray quits Cincinnati
New Zealand’s Saunders brothers
are holding down third place in their
respective sailing classes after the second
day of a world championships test event
regatta in Aarhus, Denmark.
Jason Saunders and Gemma Jones
could not match their outstanding first-
day results, dropping one place to a share
of third alongside two other Nacra 17
crews. After placing ninth, eighth and
fourth yesterday, they are seven points
behind Italian leaders Ruggero Tita and
Caterina Marianna Banti.
Saunders and Jones are contesting their
first regatta together in the mixed foiling
class since finishing an unlucky fourth at
the Rio Olympics a year ago.
Younger brother Tom Saunders
remained third in the Laser class after
finishing fourth and 20th. The latter
result was dropped from his net score.
Rio Laser bronze medallist Sam Meech
is back in the hunt for the medal race,
surging 28 places to 15th after two top-
15 finishes. Elsewhere, New Zealander
Susannah Pyatt up two places to 15th
in the Laser Radial class while Antonio
Cozzolino slipped to 31st in the the
RS:X men’s fleet. — N ZN
NZ sailors prominent
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