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ursday, November 28, 2013
Breakers' swingman Tom Abercrombie
will be the player to watch as they go
head-to-head with the Melbourne Tigers
Scoring 20-plus points in his last two games,
Abercrombie has begun to cement himself as
the Breakers' much needed go-to guy.
If he can reinstate this claim against the
Tigers this week, he may be able to help this
Breakers side achieve their rst back-to-back
win of the season.
"I'm feeling good, I'm feeling con dent so
for me it's about just trying to stay consistent,"
said an elated Abercrombie.
"I've had a couple of good weeks but
I want to make sure I keep up that
same mindset no matter what's happening."
Both teams played the Townsville Crocs
in their round seven match-ups but only the
Breakers managed to pull through victorious.
ey will look to draw upon this win and
their home advantage as they head to North
Shore Events Centre tonight.
"It was a tough start to the season, we were
on the road quite a bit so to be home for the
last couple of weeks has been good for the
"For us it will be about getting a little bit of
momentum, especially going on a tough road
trip next week."
However the Tigers do have a secret
weapon in the form of shooting guard Chris
"He's the leading scorer in the league at
the moment and he's playing really well,"
"He really leads their team, scores the ball
in a variety of ways and makes a lot of tough
shots as well."
Furthermore, Melbourne's loss last week
will make them that extra bit hungrier for a
victory come full-time tonight.
Coach Dean Vickerman said Breakers'
point guard Kerron Johnson, who picked up a
bump during last week's win over Townsville,
is in doubt for tonight's clash.
"We've still got to seek some more medical
advice to see if he's ready for the game, but we
expect him to play."
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Eye of the Tigers on
WORLD CUP LEAGUE
PICTURE: Getty Images
Cameron Smith the captain of Australia and Simon Mannering the captain of New Zealand, hold the Rugby League World Cup
during the Rugby League World Cup nal press conference at Old Tra ord.
e Kiwis came into the
World Cup believing they had
the best forward pack of any
team in the competition.
ey probably still do but
they were comprehensively
outplayed by a committed
England pack last weekend.
Sam Burgess produced an
outstanding display of power,
aggression and considerable
skill to con rm his place
among the best forwards in the
game and he was ably backed
up by James Graham.
e Kiwis tried to assert
their dominance in that match,
trying in particular to knock
Burgess o his stride, but never
"It was a test match and he
was the big dog in their side,"
Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney
said. "We have a couple of lads
who were trying to assert their
authority in a test match. In
terms of e ectiveness, I don't
think we did it that well."
e Kiwis will come up with
a di erent sort of challenge
on Sunday morning. Where
England were able to match
their size, Australia have opted
for a more mobile and e cient
ey selected only three
recognised props in their
24-man squad but have
players like Paul Gallen and
Josh Papalii who are very
comfortable doing the dirty
work up the middle.
Gallen has made the most
metres of any forward and
is second overall at this
tournament with 690m.
Andrew Fi ta (653m) and
James Tamou (558m) also
occupy spots in the overall top
10, although all three have
played ve games whereas the
most any New Zealand prop
has played is four.
e Kangaroos are also
expertly steered around the
park by hooker Cameron
Smith, who is widely
acknowledged as the smartest
player in the game.
e Kiwis almost use a ve-
prop rotation with Frank-Paul
Nu'uausala also used up the
middle as a ball runner and the
aim is then for hooker Issac
Luke to take advantage out of
New Zealand's size is more
easily accommodated in
international rugby league,
which has 12 interchanges and
only one referee --- the NRL
has 10 interchanges and two
referees which mean faster
play-the-balls --- but it is only
an advantage if it is harnessed
well. ey have to win the ruck
and play with control or they
could be exposed.
Kearney has good competition
among his front-rowers and
might be contemplating a
change with the hard-running
Sam Moa putting pressure on
Sam Kasiano, who was quiet
New Zealand prop Jesse
Bromwich said they recognised
they were outplayed by the
England pack last weekend.
"We de nitely spoke about
that," he said. "But I think the
emotion got the better of us,
giving penalties away when we
shouldn't and going for big hits
and missing. It's something we
need to control and something
we need to work on.
"We need to calm it down.
Just handle it. It's going to be a
big occasion and I'm not sure if
the boys are going to be able to
handle it but we will de nitely
"It probably helps knowing
the Australian pack. I play with
Cameron (Smith) every week
(at Melbourne). But to know it
and to stop it are two di erent
things. I think all coaches
know what is coming but to
stop it is pretty hard. We have
a big match ahead of us and
Cameron will be up for it so we
have to try to match them this
week." --- APNZ
NZ forwards out to pack a punch
If Ross Taylor was hoping to
use the Plunket Shield match
against Northern Districts to stack
up a few easy runs and boost his
con dence ahead of next week's
rst test against the West Indies,
he had another thing coming.
e former national skipper
endured a horror day for Central
Districts, being dismissed twice at
Seddon Park, including a second
innings duck as hapless CD
crashed towards defeat. Following
on, CD ended day two on 168 for
8, still 30 runs behind ND's modest
rst innings of 287.
In both innings it was national
teammates who did for Taylor.
During CD's paltry rst innings
89, Taylor was caught and bowled
by Tim Southee for 10. In his
second dig, he sur vived ve balls
before being caught at the wicket
by B J Watling o left-armer Trent
Kruger van Wyk was the only
CD player to display a modicum
of resistance, being last man out
for 28 in the rst dig and nding
himself 54 not out in the second.
Highlighting CD's ineptitude
further, it was not the class trio of
Boult, Southee and Daniel Vettori
causing the most problems in the
afternoon, but Daryl Mitchell (3-
5) and Scott Kuggeleijn (2-43).
Earlier it was a di erent story as
Boult (5-30), Southee (4-39) and
Vettori (1-5) were too much for
CD's feeble line-up.
ND's impending crushing victory
will prevent rst test certainties
BJ Watling and Corey Anderson
getting another bat.
At Lincoln, a big portion of New
Zealand's likely top order will be
hoping they get another chance
to spend some time in the middle
after failing to cash in on the New
Zealand XI's rst innings against a
hybrid West Indies-Invitational XI.
e out-of-form Brendon
McCullum got a start before being
bowled by left-arm quick Sheldon
A start was more than opener
Peter Fulton managed. He had a
single to his name when he was
bowled by the same player.
Only Hamish Rutherford, who is
himself in desperate need of a score
at international level, warmed up
with a breezy 61 o 49 balls before
falling to Wellington's Ili Tugaga.
Fringe test candidates Dean
Brownlie (6) and Tom Latham
(27) failed to impress.
On a weather-hit day, the NZ
XI declared at 227-8. Today
shapes as a big one for West
Indies stand-in Aaron Redmond,
who could force his way into
the selectors' thinking with a big
score, particularly with the rst
test, starting Tuesday, to be played
on his home ground in Dunedin.
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
National team-mates crush Taylor
PICTURE: Getty Images
Brendon McCullum is bowled during day one of the
tour match between NZ 'A' and the West Indies XI.
Five players ranked inside the world's
top 20 will contest the Heineken Open in
e full eld, which includes a four-time
Open champion, will have a cut-o of 65.
Joining the already announced world No
3, David Ferrer, are Tommy Haas (12),
John Isner (14), Philipp Kohlschreiber (22),
Benoit Paire (26) and a wildcard entry from
Marcos Baghdatis (87).
It will be Baghdatis' Open debut. e
Cypriot, a junior grand slam winner and
nalist at the Australian Open in 2006, has
a loyal fan base around the world due to his
high-energy and passionate personality.
Kohlschreiber returns in an attempt to go
one better after his appearance in the nal
again in 2013 where he lost narrowly to
Also joining the eld are Kevin Anderson
(20), Gael Mon ls (31) and Spanish ace
Tommy Robredo (18).
Robredo, who has featured at the
tournament on three previous occasions,
joins the eld after a year which saw him
reach the quarter- nals of the French and
US Opens, as well as the third round at
His quarter- nal result at the French
Open showcased his steely determination,
making history when he became the rst
man since Henri Cochet in 1927 to win
three consecutive grand slam matches from
two sets to love down.
"To have a eld featuring ve players in
the world's top 20 is an outstanding success,"
said tournament director Karl Budge.
" e addition of Marcos Baghdatis joining
Frenchman Gael Mon ls means we will
have two of the best entertainers in world
tennis headlining our Monday and Tuesday
e Open runs from January 6-11 at the
ASB Tennis Arena in Auckland. --- APNZ-
New Zealand Herald
Five top-20 players head
Heineken Open lineup
e kick-o times for the 2015
Rugby World Cup have been
announced, with All Blacks fans
needing to set their alarms for their
side's tournament opener.
e defending champions face
pool C opponents Argentina at 5pm
local on September 20 at London's
at will mean a 4am start on
a Monday morning for fans back
home in New Zealand.
e rest of New Zealand's pool
games are at more fan-friendly
times, kicking o at 8pm local time.
eir second pool match against an
African quali er will take place four
days after their opener at London's
e All Blacks nal two pool
matches both take place on Saturday
If the All Blacks top group C, their
quarter- nal, likely against France
or Ireland, will take place at 2pm
local time at Cardi 's Millennium
Semi- nals and the nal kicko at
5pm local time, another early wake-
up for New Zealand and Australian
e 2011 nal in Auckland
began at 9pm local time to
suit the northern hemisphere.
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Rugby World Cup kick-off times announced
Details revealing how Oracle
Team USA used the foil control
system in their America's Cup
victory over Team New Zealand
have been released.
is report from Cupexperience.
com suggests the system employed
by Oracle was legal, using a simple
"mechanical feedback" loop which
allowed them to have precise
control of the daggerboard rake,
bringing added stability.
e changes allowed Oracle
skipper Jimmy Spithill to push
buttons on the AC72's steering
wheels to rake the daggerboards
in 0.5 degree increments forwards
ese automatic movements
gave Oracle an advantage
over Team New Zealand who
continued with a manual system
which meant dealing with
variations in hydraulic pressure
which came from their grinders
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Oracle's foiling secrets revealed
AMERICA'S CUP YACHTING
Wales coach Warren Gatland
has dismissed his side's clash with
World Cup rivals Australia as
irrelevant to the 2015 tournament,
noting last week's test against
Tonga was more important.
But Gatland warned Saturday
night's encounter at Millennium
Stadium would be far more intense
than previous annual November
meetings in Cardi , which the
hosts treated more like "friendlies".
e New Zealand mentor
overnight unveiled a powerful
Welsh starting team, boasting 10
British and Irish Lions, including
t-again winger Alex Cuthbert.
e Six Nations champions
provided the backbone to
Gatland's victorious Lions squad
in the Australian winter and now
they are determined to end their
eight-test losing streak against the
e two sides have been drawn
with host nation England in the
pool of death at the 2015 World
Cup, and both Wallabies coach
Ewen McKenzie and Wales defence
coach Shaun Edwards believes this
weekend's result will provide an
important psychological edge.
But not Gatland.
"I don't think it is relevant at all,"
he said. " ere is a lot of water to
pass under the bridge before that.
"Last week (Tonga) was probably
more important than this week for
the World Cup in terms of being
able to develop a bit of experience
and depth into the rest of the squad
and being able to win.
Wales last beat Australia in 2008,
also their last success against a
Southern Hemisphere heavyweight.
"People have got to be aware that
probably in the past we've used
(the November internationals) as
a preparation for the Six Nations
because that's our bread and butter
--- these are friendlies," Gatland
"Our focus has changed a little bit
for this autumn."
Wales are missing star centres
Jamie Roberts and Jonathan
Davies as well as Lions scrum
anchor Adam Jones but remain the
most experienced and potent side
Australia have faced on their ve-
match European tour.
Gatland says the return of
Cuthbert, who scored two tries
in this year's 30-3 Six Nations
demolition of England, provides a
"massive" boost as he joins George
North and Leigh Halfpenny in a
classy back-three unit.
eir back-row strength is
highlighted by Justin Tipuric being
left on the bench, with skipper Sam
Warburton, Dan Lydiate and Toby
Faletau to start.
Dan Biggar has won a tight call
ahead of Rhys Priestland at ve-
eighth while Gatland has had to
gamble on loose forward Ryan
Jones as his lock cover with Luke
Charteris and Bradley Davies
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, Alex
Cuthbert, Owen Williams, Scott
Williams, George North, Dan
Biggar, Mike Phillips; Toby
Faletau, Sam Warburton (capt),
Dan Lydiate, Ian Evans, Alun
Wyn Jones, Rhodri Jones, Richard
Hibbard, Gethin Jenkins. Res: Ken
Owens, Ryan Bevington, Samson
Lee, Ryan Jones, Justin Tipuric,
Rhodri Williams, Rhys Priestland,
Liam Williams. --- AAP
No friendly Wales
Sonny Bill Williams has been
named Rugby League International
Federation Player of the Year for 2013.
e New Zealand and Sydney
Roosters forward received the sport's
most prestigious individual honour at
the RLIF's gala dinner in Manchester.
e award crowns a remarkable rst
season back in league for Williams,
who returned to the sport at the turn
of the year after a ve-year absence in
rugby union and professional boxing.
Williams was a key gure in the
Sydney Roosters team that won the
club's rst NRL grand nal for over a
decade and has been an integral part of
the New Zealand side that is looking
to complete a successful defence of the
World Cup trophy against Australia
in the nal of RLWC2013 at Old
Tr a ord on Sunday NZT.
e 28-year-old is the rst Kiwi to
win the International Player of the
Year award, which has been won by
Australian players since its inception
in 2008 --- Billy Slater (2008 and
2011), Jarryd Hayne (2009), Todd
Carney (2010) and Cameron Smith
He held o sti competition from
the two other shortlisted players,
Super League Man of Steel and
Scotland half-back Danny Brough of
Hudders eld Giants, and Greg Inglis,
the South Sydney Rabbitohs and
Australia full-back, to win the coveted
All three players were also named in
their respective positions in the 2013
International team of the year, a side
selected on performances at club and
representative level between October
2012 and November 2013.
e team of the year also features
England and South Sydney front
rower Sam Burgess, the 2013 prop
of the year who is joined by a third
Rabbitoh in Issac Luke, the hooker of
e Burgess family had double cause
for celebration with George Burgess
being named International Rookie of
the Year, an award open to players aged
21 or under who made their Test debut
during the voting period.
Sydney Roosters have a second
representative in the Team of the Year
with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck joining
his fellow countryman Sonny Bill
Williams as winger of the year.
e NRL champions also received
further recognition of their momentous
year with Trent Robinson being
named International coach of the year
following his hugely successful debut
season at the club since joining them
from Catalan Dragons.
Robinson won the award ahead of
a current Super League coach, Shaun
Wane of Wigan Warriors, and another
former Super League coach, Wane's
predecessor, Michael Maguire, the
coach of South Sydney.
Australian o cial Ben Cummins
was named International referee of the
year for a second successive year.
e awards are determined by
an international judging panel
comprising journalists, broadcasters
and former international players
drawn from both the northern and
Former BARLA chief executive
Maurice Oldroyd was presented
with the RLIF Spirit of Rugby
League Award in recognition of
his commitment to international
development over more than four
decades. e winners of the 2013
RLIF International Player of the Year
International Player of the Year:
Sonny Bill Williams (Sydney Roosters
and New Zealand).
International Coach of the Year:
Trent Robinson (Sydney Roosters and
International Rookie of the Year:
George Burgess (South Sydney
Rabbitohs and England).
International Referee of the Year:
Ben Cummins (Australia).
Spirit of Rugby League Award:
International Team of the Year:
Full-back, Greg Inglis (South Sydney
and Australia); winger, Roger
Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters and
New Zealand); centre, Jamie Lyon
(Manly); stand-o , Danny Brough
(Hudders eld Giants and Scotland);
scrum-half, Daly Cherry-Evans
(Manly and Australia); prop, Sam
Burgess (South Sydney and England);
hooker, Issac Luke (South Sydney and
New Zealand); second row, Sonny Bill
Williams (Sydney Roosters and New
Zealand); loose forward, Corey Parker
(Brisbane Broncos and Australia).
Sonny Bill player of the year
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