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Read named world's best
Brilliant No 8 Kieran Read has
ser ved a reminder to the All Blacks
about the chasing pack after they
swept the International Rugby Board
awards --- including his own player of
the year honour.
Read was the standout performer
in a New Zealand side which won 14
from 14 tests in 2013, becoming the
first team in the professional era to
complete a perfect calendar year.
e All Blacks were named team
of the year, while Steve Hansen was
coach of the year.
"It s been an outstanding year for the
All Blacks and a great year to be an
All Blacks fan, and we are very proud
of what skipper Richie (McCaw) and
the team has achieved," NZRU chief
executive Steve Tew said.
"Kieran deserves particular
acknowledgement for the remarkable
season he has put in both on and
off the field. e fact this is Steve s
second straight coach of the year award
is also significant and deserves our
" ese awards are a reflection of the
effort and commitment the All Blacks
have shown in 2013 to be the best in
the world and they can now head into
a well-earned summer break with a
high degree of satisfaction."
Dynamic forward Read became the
third All Black to win the player award
after Richie McCaw and Dan Carter,
who have won it five times between
e 28-year-old from Canterbury
was nominated alongside team-mate
Ben Smith, Welsh fullback Leigh
Halfpenny, South African lock Eben
Etzebeth and Italian No 8 Sergio
Halfpenny was regarded as a strong
contender following his exploits for
Wales and the British and Irish Lions
but the judging panel, comprised of
nine former test players, deemed that
Read s deeds could not be ignored.
He performed his traditional duties
with aplomb while proving to be a
potent attacking force in open space.
Read says the award could be
attributed to the quality of the All
Blacks but warned they cannot expect
the same degree of dominance next
" ere s a little gap but teams are
catching up," Read told Radio New
Zealand. "South Africa is really close,
they re building pretty nicely. A couple
of northern teams --- England and
Wales --- are pretty good sides, so
we ve got to keep improving."
Read said the nailbiting 24-22 win
over lowly-ranked Ireland in Dublin
was the wake-up call the All Blacks
" is game s tough, you saw that
in that last game. Hopefully we can
continue in the winning vein. It won t
last forever but we ll try our best to do
It is the seventh time New Zealand
have been crowned team of the year ---
and the fourth in succession --- while
Hansen won the coach award for the
second straight year.
Read, Hansen and the All Blacks
have all been shortlisted in the same
categories at the New Zealand Rugby
awards, to be held in Auckland
tomorrow. --- AAP
PICTURE: Getty Images
All Black Kieran Read is tackled
by England s Chris Ashton at
In many minds the cricket fortunes of Brendon
McCullum and Ross Taylor these days are intertwined.
Not of their doing, but due to events a year ago
when the captaincy was taken off Taylor and given to
ey did a bit of quality intertwining at University
Oval yesterday to slam
shut a door already
easing closed on the
From 367 for three,
New Zealand are
ideally placed to press
on to what would be
a first test win under
McCullum s leadership
--- and first since
Taylor s final match in
charge last November.
ey started today
with their stand
on 182, both have
their name and their
double embrace as each
hundred was reached
was no doubt heartfelt.
In their own ways
they have been
through a mental and,
in McCullum s case,
physical grind in the
family were looking
on, was emotional in
the dressing room, a
mix of relief having
put a run of low scores
behind him --- which
he felt was hindering
his ability to lead
from the front --- and
discomfort from his
His batting is never
dull, and he makes his
runs at a merry clip.
his century in 101
balls, including three
sixes, just beating
Taylor to the mark,
and once he found his
range produced a flamboyant array of shots. His feet
were moving him into position swiftly and he flogged
some ordinary West Indian bowling.
Only once, when he attempted a reverse sweep, did he
veer off message, but for good measure --- and as if to
demonstrate his growing self assurance --- did repeat it
shortly after for a boundary.
Taylor had a scare on two, looping an edge off a lifting
delivery from the indefatigable Tino Best just over slips.
Again, once he got going, he too enjoyed himself and
made sure he took full advantage.
Taylor s made no secret that he took the loss of the
captaincy hard, as anyone with a sensitive bone in the
body would. But yesterday felt good.
"Yeah, a good feeling is a nice way to sum it up," Taylor
"It has been a while since the last test hundred and it s
nice to be there at the end of the day and to battle the
demons that I probably had in my first 20 or 30 runs."
Taylor once more had to bury the idea that somehow
he and McCullum are rivals.
"No, we re team-mates. We want to do well for the
team and the country. ere s always going to be that
comparison until he retires, or I retire, but we can t
control that. We just have to do our best every time."
As for McCullum, "he s knackered".
"I think when you re captain there s a lot of emotions
that go through you before the game. I think he will
sleep well tonight."
Taylor admitted he has a target of test hundreds in
mind, but will keep it to himself. He had a chat with his
mentor Martin Crowe the night before the test.
"He s been very good. He was just telling me to relax,
get out there and enjoy the battle."
It was a day to savour for New Zealand. Peter Fulton
and Hamish Rutherford continued what s becoming an
impressive opening partnership, this time putting on 95.
Aaron Redmond s comeback ended unluckily, a leading
edge lobbing to gully. e batsmen have had far tougher
days. e West Indies bowlers butchered first use of the
new ball in green, helpful conditions and once Taylor
and McCullum settled in they ripped the initiative away
from the tourists.
e platform has been laid by the batsmen; now it s
about pressing on. By the numbers
e unbroken fourth-wicket stand between Ross
Taylor and Brendon McCullum of 182 is seven runs
short of the New Zealand fourth-wicket record against
the West Indies, set by Mathew Sinclair and Nathan
Astle at Wellington in 1999.
It was Taylor s ninth test ton, and first since his
last test as captain, against Sri Lanka in Colombo last
It is McCullum s seventh test century, and first since
--- New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: Getty Images
Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum congratulate each other after both scored
West Indies bowlers produced a more
disciplined line and length to stall New
Zealand s run charge and capture two
quick wickets as the hosts went to lunch
at 445 for five on the second day of the
first test at University Oval today.
Ross Taylor was on 144 and in sight
of his highest test score of 154 not out,
while wicketkeeper B J Watling was on
26 for the hosts, who had lost Brendon
McCullum and Corey Anderson within
five runs in the first hour of play.
West Indies, already hampered by
picking just two frontline pace bowlers
in Tino Best and Shannon Gabriel,
suffered a blow when captain Darren
Sammy was forced from the field for
treatment on what appeared to be a
Sammy returned but did not bowl
again in the first session.
McCullum and Taylor had produced a
brilliant attacking final session yesterday
to lead New Zealand to 367 for three and
were looking to re-establish themselves
when they resumed to push to a first
innings total in excess of 500 runs.
ey set a record for New Zealand s
fourth wicket against West Indies
when they scampered through for a
quick single to take their partnership to
190 runs, surpassing the 189 Mathew
Sinclair and Nathan Astle compiled in
However they were unable to extend
that record much further as McCullum,
who had been shaken up by a short ball
from Best, was bowled for 113 by a
delivery from Sammy that nipped back
and hit off stump to leave the hosts 380
Anderson, making his first appearance
in a test at home following his debut in
Bangladesh in October, was dismissed
for a duck as the visitors bowled a fuller
length and allowed the ball to seam on
the still green-tinged pitch.
e 22-year-old was well caught by a
diving Dinesh Ramdin down the legside
after he feathered a Best delivery off his
hip, leaving New Zealand at 380 for five
and in danger of being bundled out well
short of their target.
Watling and Taylor, however,
consolidated, though the latter was
dropped at forward short leg on 131
about 20 minutes before the break.
New Zealand openers Peter Fulton
(61) and Hamish Rutherford (62)
had given the hosts a solid start with a
95-run partnership during the first
Windies stall NZ run charge
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Black Cap duo
bury tough year
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