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Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Fast emerging New Zealand
heavyweight Joseph Parker should
experience no lasting difficulties after
the bad eye cut sustained in his fight
with Afa Tatupu last month.
His trainer Kevin Barry said from Las
Vegas that the cut --- suffered after a
head clash --- had healed well.
"I took Joseph to my plastic surgeon
and he told us that the eye looks fantastic.
e cut is well above the orbital bone
and he doubts that a fighter would be
able to open it with a punch --- though
another head clash might be another
story," Barry said.
e cut occurred when Parker, a quick-
hands boxer with a promising future,
ditched his game plan and traded blows
with Tatupu. e plan had been for the
elegant Parker to stay on the outside,
picking off the puncher with speed,
movement and ringcraft. However,
Parker forgot the plot in the heat of the
moment and was caught when Tatupu
led with his head during an exchange.
A grumpy Barry made his feelings clear
at the time --- cuts can affect a fighter s
career, especially when opponents work
on it during a bout, letting blood flow
and getting the fight stopped. Kiwi
heavyweight Shane Cameron suffered
from cuts for a time and there have been
many boxers whose careers have been
damaged by cuts. ey include British
heavyweight Henry Cooper, famed
for being one of the few who knocked
down the great Muhammad Ali but who
was beaten in both their bouts by Ali
opening up a Cooper cut.
"Joseph has taken ownership of that
now and he is training the hardest he
has ever trained. is has been really
fulfilling --- it s the hardest we have
worked in preparing for an opponent,"
"Okay, the cut was a bump in the road
and we are not sparring at the moment
but we are doing a lot of skills work. He
is just lapping it up. We are working
on a wide variety of boxing skills and
techniques and he is already showing
huge improvement. We are only into
the third week and I can tell that, when
he comes home to New Zealand in
December, he will be in much better
shape than when he fought Tatupu."
Parker is due to fight Brazilian
heavyweight George Arias (53 fights,
42 wins, 39 knockouts and 11 losses)
in March, the fight delayed after his
cut. Arias, 39, is a step up; he has won
his last 12 fights, most in defence of
his South American heavyweight titles
and has faced heavyweights such as Fres
Oquendo, Audley Harrison and Taras
Bidenko. --- APNZ
All Black captain Richie McCaw
handed back the Rugby World
Cup at an International Rugby
Board function this morning.
McCaw returned the Webb
Ellis Cup to Rugby World Cup
Limited chairman Bernard
Lapasset in an official handover
ceremony in Dublin.
With less than two years to go
until the next World Cup takes
place in England, the Webb
Ellis Cup will now be used to
promote the eighth edition of the
tournament which takes place
from September 18 to October
McCaw held aloft the Cup just
over two years ago at Eden Park
after the All Blacks beat France
8-7 to end a 24-year wait for a
second World Cup success and in
the two years since the trophy has
toured New Zealand and allowed
thousands of fans to get up close
"It s certainly a little bit different
handing it back. I guess that means
we ve won it," McCaw said. "Every
time I see it I remember the great
times of two years ago."
e All Blacks next test is against
Ireland on Monday morning, with
McCaw confirming the intense
nature of the 30-22 victory over
England at Twickenham. "To be
honest getting out of bed today
and yesterday was pretty tough.
It was a really physical battle. You
expect that in test matches. We
were relieved to come out on top.
We re excited about one more, it s
going to be another good one and
we re excited about finishing the
year off on a good note.
"We need to prepare well this
week. e Irish boys will be
hurting after being knocked over
by the Aussies on Saturday too."
Asked about the form of No 8
Kieran Read, who is a favourite to
win the IRB player of the year next
week, McCaw said: "He s one of
the best I ve played with, no doubt.
Not only is he a special player,
but he s captained the All Blacks
a few times this year. For me it s
definitely good to know you ve got
a man like that beside you playing
the way he is." --- APNZ
e prospect of finishing the year
unbeaten, the first time a major
international team has achieved the feat
in the professional era, is likely to play a
part in Steve Hansen s selections for the
With Ireland having never beaten the
All Blacks, and collapsing to a 32-15
defeat to Australia in Dublin on Sunday,
Hansen probably would have selected a
side with development in mind for the
test on Monday morning had this year
panned out a little differently.
Instead, with 13 victories already,
Hansen wants a clean sweep and is
likely to select a team which will give
him the greatest chance of doing that.
He recognises the fact his men are on
the cusp of something special.
ere was initially a plan to send several
senior players home this week in order
to give them an extended break. We
do not know who he had in mind, but
with Dan Carter and Tony Woodcock
already ruled out of the test at the
Aviva Stadium, Hansen has decided to
keep the squad intact after getting the
required sign-off from the New Zealand
Of the forwards, Charlie Faumuina
must be in with a good chance to start
at prop, with Wyatt Crockett on the
loosehead. Hansen could go for Luke
Romano in the second row along
with either Sam Whitelock or Brodie
Retallick. Aaron Cruden should get the
nod at No 10 after performing well as
Carter s replacement at Twickenham,
although Beauden Barrett could have a
claim here too. Barrett has never started
a test at first-five, whereas the selectors
know what they ve got with Cruden --- a
player with ice in his veins like Carter
and who is closing the gap on him.
Cory Jane could come into the frame
on one wing.
Overall, though, Hansen is wary of the
twin evils of too much tinkering and
looking too far ahead.
"If we start talking about the outcome
and thinking about it we might drop the
ball," he said before the team flew out to
Dublin. "It s got to be business as usual
and pick the right team with people
who ve got energy and are ready to go
and prepare as well as we possibly can. If
we do that we know we ve got the talent
to get the outcome that we all want.
at s the big one for me, we ve got to
keep our feet on the ground.
" e danger is we go whew ,
rather than wow , now we ve got an
opportunity. It s not too often that you
do get this opportunity so we ve got to
respect that from a selection point of
view as well."
Hansen was perplexed at some of
referee Craig Joubert s decisions,
particularly at the breakdown, but that
was over whelmed by the satisfaction at
the manner of his side s victory.
ey had to keep their composure
as England controlled territory and
possession to overtake a 14-point lead at
22-20 and then finished the stronger due
to their set piece expertise and superior
Of the lineout --- and there was an
important steal which lead to Ma a
Nonu s clinching try --- Hansen said:
"A lot of that is down to the work that
Jeremy ( rush) and Luke Romano are
doing. ey re the guys who are driving
the defensive lineout, and obviously
(Mike Cron) the forwards coach. We ve
got a big lineout now. A few years ago
we had two jumpers but now we ve got
four, probably five if you include Richie
(McCaw), and that s a luxury.
" ere is a philosophy that we really
want to compete and why wouldn t you
when you ve got the tall timber we ve
got. What I liked about the scrum ... is
that after half-time when we made the
changes it improved. I think that and
the lineout was what turned the game
around." --- APNZ
London club Harlequins is leading
the race to sign former All Blacks and
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.
Deans has been without a team since
being sacked as coach of Australia after
the home series loss to the British and
Irish Lions and before this season s
Rugby Championship, with Ewen
McKenzie taking over and finishing a
distant third to the All Blacks and South
It is understood that the Argentina
Rugby Union were very interested in
getting the former Crusaders coach
on board as they prepare to enter an
extended Super Rugby competition, but
that Deans was asking for too high a
If Deans does join Harlequins, he will
replace head coach John Kingston and
join former All Blacks first-five Nick
Evans at the club.
Harlequins are fifth in the English
premiership and have lost both of their
European fixtures to Welsh club Scarlets
and French outfit Clermont Auvergne.
Deans has been off limits to the media
since his departure from the Australian
scene. It is understood that he is
writing a book about his experiences.
He struggled to get the best out of the
talented but inconsistent Quade Cooper,
Kurtley Beale and James O Connor,
with the latter having left for London
Irish. --- APNZ
Sunday morning s World Cup semi-
final between England and New
Zealand is being billed as a battle of the
heavyweights, and it is an appropriate
description when you consider the
relative size of the forwards packs each
side will put out.
e Kiwis have arguably the most
formidable pack in the tournament, with
the likes of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves,
Ben Matulino and Sonny Bill Williams.
It is one with power and skill and a large
part of New Zealand s gameplan is based
around forward dominance.
But England will not be intimidated.
ey have the Burgess clan --- Sam
and Tom are the lightest of the three at
116kg --- and workhorse front-rower
In fact, England s starting pack in their
quarter-final against France was slightly
heavier than New Zealand s at 625kg to
the Kiwis 620kg and they also brought
George Burgess and his 120kg frame off
England and New Zealand have taken
a different approach to Australia, who
have opted for a more mobile pack, and
it is helped by the slow play-the-balls
seen so far at this World Cup and 12
interchanges allowed in the international
ere will be a number of intriguing
match-ups on Sunday, not least of all the
one between Williams and Sam Burgess.
Williams will play on the right side,
Burgess on the left.
Williams leads the tournament in
offloads with 13 (Burgess has five) while
Burgess is third among for wards for
tackle breaks with 16 (Williams has 14).
" ey have a lot of big boys but we
should be able to match them," Matulino
said. " ey are going all right in the
tournament and so are we. Sam Burgess
is in the top three for wards in the game
at the moment. You know what he s
going to bring because he brings it every
week in the NRL. He s going to come
out and hit hard and run hard.
"James Graham is a workhorse. He
tackles and runs all day. We have a little
bit of insight but our track record against
them in England isn t too good so we are
e Kiwis have not beaten England
in the UK since 2005 and Matulino has
been involved in the last two tours. He
debuted in the unsuccessful 2009 Four
Nations, when the Kiwis won only one
game against France, and returned for
their poor 2011 campaign when their
only win was against Wales.
He had a great season in 2012, when
he was Warriors player of the year, but
his form dipped in 2013.
"I think I m playing a bit better (at
the World Cup) than what I was in the
NRL," he said. "I m a lot more confident
playing alongside these boys.
"Everyone is driving each other in this
team. Sonny is probably leading the way.
When he does stuff, people tend to copy
and it rubs off on the others."
Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney said last
week s side against Scotland was close
to his favoured 17 but there is still a
question mark around the fourth front-
rower with Sam Kasiano and Sam Moa
Moa was preferred last week over
Kasiano, who had previously played in
all three games on tour and was said to
be in need of a rest.
If Kasiano was to play, his 1.96m and
122kg frame --- it is closer to 130kg
--- would only add to what is already a
New Zealand s world
No 1 women s bowls
player Jo Edwards is
this week set to take on
the top Australian men
in a revolutionary new
the sport s version of
Edwards has been
selected in the three-
strong Tower New
Zealand Black Jacks
to face five powerful
Australian state franchises
in the inaugural
League (APL) which
opens at Brisbane s Club
Pine Rivers today.
Chasing a total prize
fund of $A100,000
players clash in a quick-
fire, two game, five-end
format with a one-end
tie-break if required.
Substitutions are also
allowed and a 30-second
shot clock will also be
applied to help speed up
"I think it s a fantastic
idea," adds Edwards of
the APL concept.
" e short, sharp
nature of the game, the
substitutes rule, the power
play, which allows players
to double their score
at one end, adds more
excitement to the game.
I hope people embrace it
and enjoy it for what it
is --- a quick-fire game of
lawn bowls with a lot of
Edwards is one of just
two women selected to
compete in the first APL,
the other being Australia s
world No 2 Karen
Murphy. She is playing
for the Sydney Lions,
which also features two of
the world s top 10 men in
Jeremy Henry and Brett
Edwards, the 2002
pairs gold medallist,
has experience playing
against top male players
in the Stoke Invitation
Singles event, formerly a
mixed event, in her native
Nelson and Edwards
insists her style is well
suited to matching the
"I believe I play like
a man anyway in that
I m quite aggressive,"
Edwards, 43, said.
" e Aussie boys are
outstanding and are very
good at what they do.
Mind, I ve got a couple
of players playing with
me for the Black Jacks
(Tony Grantham, world
No 12, and Ali Forsyth,
2008 world singles bronze
medallist) who are top
class. It s going to be a lot
"We hope to go out
there and shake them up.
Although the game is in
a different format, it s not
a different game. e aim
white thing (the jack) at
the other end."
Edwards, a member of
the United Bowls Club, is
the most dominant name
in the women s side of
the sport having snared
four of the last five annual
World Cup women s
singles titles, the biggest
tournament in the sport
outside of the quadrennial
world championships and
Ranked some 400
points ahead of her
nearest rival in the world
rankings, there is little
the former Football Ferns
squad member has not
achieved in her chosen
Edwards accepts by
playing with the men, she
can learn and develop her
game but she also believes
the male bowlers could
learn from the women.
"I think women are a
bit more patient," explains
who competes with
bowls inscribed with the
club crest of her beloved
" e guys are a lot
more aggressive than
the women, but there
is a time and place for
Bowls NZ chief
executive Kerry Clark
says Edwards has all
the attributes to thrive
in the competition. He
says her dedication and
competitive qualities are
second to none.
Netball New Zealand has announced
the Silver Ferns team of 12 that will tour
the United Kingdom in January, with the
addition of four training partners.
e team is.--- Casey Kopua (captain), Jodi
Brown, Leana de Bruin, Shannon Francois,
Katrina Grant,Joline Henry, Laura Langman,
Cathrine Latu, Camilla Lees, Te Huinga Reo
Selby-Rickit, Maria Tutaia, Irene van Dyk.
e four training partners are.--- Courtney
Tairi (Silver Ferns squad), Bailey Mes (Silver
Ferns squad, Phoenix Karaka (National
Accelerant squad), Malia Paseka (National
e touring squad will play two exhibition
matches against the Scotland istles in
Glasgow, then will then travel to London for
two test matches, the first against Jamaica
and the second against England, rounding
out the tour with an exhibition match against
e 16-day tour will be the last time the
Silver Ferns assemble and play together
before competing in July s Commonwealth
Games. Silver Ferns coach Waimarama
Taumaunu says the UK Tour is an important
one for the travelling group.
PICTURE: Getty Images
All Black captain Richie McCaw handed the Webb Ellis Trophy back to IRB chairman Bernard
Lapasset at the IRB Awards and Hall of Fame induction at Aviva Stadium, today in Dublin, Ireland.
ABs hand back World Cup
Parker gets good
news on head cut
LEAGUE WORLD CUP
Heavyweights to clash
in key semi-final
will play part
in All Black
Quins lead race to sign Deans
After enduring one of the
worst episodes of his career
during the last World Cup
qualifying campaign, All Whites
goalkeeper Glen Moss has hit
the headlines for all the right
reasons this time.
In the midst of facing a
"firing range" at the Azteca
Stadium last ursday, Moss
came up with one of the best
performances of his career. It
In the past he might have
let the fans (who screamed
obscenities, perfectly chorused,
every time he took a goal kick)
or the hostile atmosphere get
to him. Or he might have
lost focus as his team-mates
struggled to keep the Mexicans
But that was then.
"You learn to deal with
pressure over time and that is
why goalkeepers play their best
in later years," Moss said.
"At times in the past I was
possibly (a bit immature) but
everybody matures with the
games they play and the life
experiences they have."
During the last campaign
he was red carded against Fiji,
ultimately copping a four game
Moss had come on to the
international scene in 2006, as
a brash, confident keeper with
a penchant for flashy saves. He
was sometimes guilty of taking
risks --- one touch too many
of a back pass or attempting a
spectacular catch when a punch
would suffice --- but there was
no doubt about his ability. Any
possible questions were over his
"I probably used to play with
too much emotion for a keeper,"
admits Moss. "I needed to rely
on concentration and ability and
take the emotion out of it. You
see footballers all around the
world, some of the big mistakes
they make are because they are
emotional at the time".
Moss knows all about big
mistakes. Five years ago in
that dead rubber in Fiji he was
sent off for abusing the referee,
then suspended for both games
against Bahrain and the first two
matches in South Africa.
" at was an emotional thing,"
Moss said. "I said something
that I shouldn t have --- I have
learnt from that and now I don t
say too much to referees."
e situation was exacerbated
when New Zealand Football
forgot to appeal the sentence
within the required window,
leaving Moss with the harsh
"I didn t get an appeal" Moss
"(NZF) have apologised and
moved on and hopefully it never
happen to another player."
Last ursday Moss
demonstrated how much he
had moved on. For so long in a
duel with Mark Paston, Moss s
display at the Azteca showed
he has accepted the mantle of
"He was excellent," coach
Ricki Herbert said. " ere
might be people looking at that
wondering (what) he is doing in
"As a team we were too
cautious," reflects Moss of the
Azteca experience. "We weren t
going out to challenge them.
One of their early long range
shots took me by surprise and
hit the crossbar. After that I
told (the team) we have to close
them down, otherwise this is
going to be a firing range."
Moss will be busy tomorrow
night, though hopefully not
the headline act again. Another
solid performance from him ---
together with a better defensive
screen out in front and more
ver ve on attack --- should ensure
a closer scoreline.
"It s our turn now," says Moss.
"We are (at home) and hopefully
can throw at them what they
threw at us. It is a nothing to
lose situation as nobody expects
us to turn that deficit around.
We have some good firepower
right positions and put some
pressure on them." --- APNZ
All Whites keeper dealing with pressure
All Whites goalkeeper stretches out to stop a goal.
Silver Ferns squad named for UK tour
Black Jack aces new deal
Former internationals Tim Brown and
Mark Paston will speak to the All Whites
tonight as Ricki Herbert s side searches for
inspiration ahead of the second leg of their
intercontinental play-off against Mexico in
Down 5-1 after a disastrous opening leg in
Mexico City last week, Herbert s men need to
pull off one of sport s more notable comebacks
in recent years if they want to earn a spot at
next year s World Cup in Brazil.
Brown and Paston --- who have both retired
from professional football --- were two of New
Zealand s most important players on their
march to the World Cup in South Africa in
Paston famously saved a penalty in the home
fixture of the two-legged play-off against
Bahrain at Westpac Stadium in 2009, while
Brown s uncompromising play in the midfield
anointed him as one of the side s leaders.
Speaking at New Zealand s pre-match press
conference this morning, Herbert said he was
keen to have his former charges in.
"I think when you look at Mark and Tim,
from my perspective, they were two players
that came in in 2005 and culturally made an
incredible difference and obviously went on to
be top players in their own right in different
positions through a really strong World Cup
campaign," Herbert said as he cast his mind
back to 2010.
"So I ll be delighted to see those boys tonight.
I ve seen both in and around the environment,
they ve been at training sessions and they ve
been a strong, integral part of a lot of change
in New Zealand football. So they ll be in
tonight and they ll speak and I think there s a
really good, strong respect for those two.
"I ll personally be grateful for them coming
and sharing whatever their thoughts may be
leading in to a big game like tomorrow night."
Herbert said they offered former captain
Ryan Nelsen the chance to meet the team
prior to the first leg in Mexico but he was
All Whites skipper Tommy Smith said it
was a great opportunity to have Brown and
Paston come in and share a few stories.
"Obviously we ve got quite a few young
members in the squad now and for them, they
would have been looking up to those two in
the past campaign. So whatever they say, I m
sure the young guys would take on board and
can only gain inspiration from that. So I m
really looking forward to getting them in and
seeing what they have to say and hopefully it
can motivate the guys."
A couple of those young squad members may
be unleashed at Westpac Stadium tomorrow
with defenders Storm Roux and Bill Tuiloma
tipped to join a back four with Smith and
Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante.
Herbert would not confirm his starting
line-up today and said he would leave it till
game-day but it is understood the 20-year-
old Roux will likely play on the right, with
Tuiloma, 18, on the left with Durante and
Smith in the middle. Four players are set to
be commissioned in the midfield with Marco
Rojas and Kosta Barbarouses to operate down
the flanks while Michael McGlinchey and
Chris James will hold court in the centre.
Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz will start
up front alongside the Phoenix s Jeremy
Brockie. It is an attacking line-up but it was
Herbert s only option as New Zealand search
for an unlikely comeback victory. --- APNZ
Brown, Paston to inspire All Whites
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