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of the New Zealand Herald
After four years in professional
football, Wellington Phoenix
defender Michael Boxall has
found his feet.
e 25-year-old defender --- a
former Mt Albert Grammar first
XI player --- is enjoying the most
consistent form of his career
under Phoenix coach Ernie
Merrick and tonight will be a
key cog in the wheel if they are
to run over Adelaide United at
Boxall was called upon for
first team duty when fullback
Louis Fenton went down with
a season-ending injury on
New Year s Day against West
Sydney Wanderers. Despite not
starting a game at right back for
eight years, Boxall stepped up,
performed with aplomb and has
not looked back.
He made the A-League team
of the week for his performance
in the Phoenix s 5-0 win over
Melbourne Victory and has
looked a strong, calm and
composed presence in his three
successive starts, but perhaps
his greatest weapon is his speed.
At 1.88m and 90kg, Boxall is
deceptively quick. So quick
in fact that he beats whippets
Tyler Boyd, Kenny
Cunningham and the
rest of the Phoenix
squad over 10m and
20m sprints in their
fitness testing sessions.
"A speed test where
you just go whenever
you want isn t
necessarily relevant to
the speed you use in
football, but it s good
knowing that you do
have that in the locker
to match opposition
wingers for pace,"
Tonight that pace
will come in handy
as he helps deal with
the speed and trickery
of Adelaide attackers
Bruce Djite and
It is another must-win
for the Phoenix, who
despite playing some attractive
soccer and earning 13 points
from their past six games,
languish second to bottom on
the A-League ladder. But the
table is tight with five points
separating fifth and ninth place
and a win puts them right back
in the mix for a play-off spot.
Boxall credits the Phoenix s
change in fortune to Merrick
and his meticulous planning.
" is year for the first time,
each player in every position
knows their own roles as well as
everyone else s roles," Boxall said.
"During my time in Vancouver
(playing for the Whitecaps in
the MLS) I wasn t necessarily
coached in my position. I was
just kind of thrown out there
and expected to produce results.
Ernie has made it very clear
about what he wants
from everyone and how
he wants them to play.
Everyone is on the same
"Since our change in
form it s been a bit livelier
at trainings and I think
once we got those results
we truly started to believe
in what we were capable of
throughout the rest of the
Merrick has declared
Costa Rican duo Kenny
Cunningham and Carlos
starters after returning
duty. However, league-
leading goal scorer Stein
Huysegems has picked up
a slight calf complaint, and
will have a fitness test first.
Over 11,000 tickets
have been pre-sold for the
match with the Phoenix needing
a crowd of 12,000 to break even.
"Growing up, if you d told my
dad that I would be playing
professional sports at Eden Park
he d have been stoked that he
had a son playing professional
rugby," Boxall said. "But it s kind
of worked out the other way. It s
going to be a great night in front
of friends and family." --- APNZ
of the Herald on Sunday
One minute Matt Henry
was travelling to Gisborne s
tranquil Harry Barker Reser ve
for Canterbury s Plunket
Shield match with Northern
Districts; nek minnit he is
mobbed by team-mates after
dismissing members of India s
world champion one-day
batting line-up in front of
13,729 fans at the Cake Tin.
ere is a touch of All
Black Brian Lochore s "Gone
to Wellington. Playing test
tomorrow." kitchen table note
to wife Pam about Henry s
sudden appearance in a black
He entered an XI in the form
of their lives after niggling
injuries to Tim Southee and
the resting of Hamish Bennett.
e 22-year-old knows what
injuries are about, having
come back from his own, after
making his first-class debut for
Canterbury in 2010-11 and
starting in shorter formats the
Henry steamed in. Bang.
Back to the pavilion went
Shikhar Dhawan, fending at a
back of a length ball pouched
by Nathan McCullum at
second slip. ump. Ajinkya
Rahane s pad felt the weight
of a delivery which would
otherwise have mangled his
stumps. Swoosh. Team-mates
converged from outposts of
outfield to pat him on the back
and soak up his aura.
Henry went on to nab
Ambati Rayudu as well.
e 22-year-old s fluent
action, ability to hurry the
short ball on and pitch up
with a punitive yorker gave the
impression his career prospects
have changed in 48 hours.
Still, we must not get carried
away. e New Zealand
bowling market is one of the
most competitive in the world
Tim Southee, Trent Boult,
Neil Wagner, Doug Bracewell,
Kyle Mills, Hamish Bennett
all want one of three
specialist pace spots in the
various formats. en in
swoops Henry bowling with
aggression up towards 140kph,
a player the selectors have had
their eye on for a while. e
selection panel is spoiled for
Henry s debut was helped
by the parsimony of Mills,
conceding just eight runs and
taking one wicket in his first
McClenaghan also offered
just nine runs in his first three
overs, allowing Henry to enter
the fray against a couple of
hungry Indian batsmen in the
seventh over. --- APNZ
Saturday, February 1, 2014
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of the New Zealand Herald
Kiwi heavyweight boxing prospect Joseph
Parker is about to hit the big time with an
appearance on the undercard of the world title
fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Alex
Leapai in Germany on April 26.
e Weekend Herald understands Parker s
handlers, Duco Events, are in advanced
negotiations with the Klitschko brothers
promotional arm K2 and a deal for Parker to
appear on the title fight card is almost done.
Duco director David Higgins declined to
comment on the situation.
e fight against a yet-to-be-determined
opponent will announce Parker on the world
Duco has had previous dealings with K2
during David Tua s unsuccessful comeback
tilt against Alexander Ustinov in November.
Ustinov has fought under the K2 banner
and an impressive win for Tua would have
potentially set up a title shot with one of the
Klitschkos. Tua s comprehensive 12-round
defeat killed off any prospect of that, with Tua
hanging up the gloves, almost certainly for
However the next challenge for Wladimir
Klitschko will still come from Downunder.
Leapai became the mandatory challenger
for the WBO title when he defeated Denis
Boystov in November. His handlers agreed
terms for a fight for the WBO, IBF and
WBA belts with Klitschko in early January,
with Leapai reportedly to earn $A1.5 million
Samoan-born father of six Leapai will be
the first Australian to challenge for the world
heavyweight crown in over 100 years. Parker s
inclusion on the card will give it a significant
Southern Hemisphere presence, which is
likely to boost pay per views in a region
where Klitschko s fights have not traditionally
done much business. It will be 22-year-old
Parker s second overseas fight. His first was a
unanimous points decision victory over expat
Kiwi Brice Ritani-Coe in California last May.
at fight is the only time the 7-0 Parker has
been taken the full distance as a professional.
e young Aucklander has displayed an
appreciable increase in power since linking
with Las Vegas-based Kiwi trainer Kevin
Barry, as evidenced in spectacular knockout
victories over ageing South African Frans
Botha and Kiwi journeyman Afa Tatupu in
his last two fights.
With Shane Cameron pondering retirement
after a brutal loss to American tough guy Brian
Minto in December and Sonny Bill Williams
boxing plans either on hold or shelved
altogether after his controversial 10-round
victory over Botha last August, Parker is now
the country s leading heavyweight hope.
He has been inactive since suffering a nasty
cut in his dramatic KO victory over Tatupu in
October, however he was last month cleared
to resume sparring and has returned to the
United States to train.
He had been slated to fight in Nelson in
early 2014, however it is now not clear if that
will happen. --- APNZ
We all know about Lydia Ko s
tremendous golfing ability but we
got to see her fighting qualities
during the first round of the New
Zealand Women s Open.
After starting her opening
round at the 10th hole with a
birdie yesterday, the 16-year-old
defending champion experienced a
painful first nine holes as she blew
out to two-over the card following
bogeys at the 12th, 14th and 15th.
But you never count quality
players out and she blitzed her
back nine with five birdies,
including two in her final two
holes, as she began a timely
charge up the leaderboard as she
eventually signed for a three-under
Ko was in a share of third place
overnight, alongside four other
players, one stroke behind co-
leaders Stacey Tate and Seon Woo
is week s three-day
tournament, which has a purse of
$334,000, is all about Ko and the
world No 4 might have feared the
worst during the barren stretch of
her front nine.
In typical Ko fashion she
shrugged off the pressure.
"I kind of thought this might
not be my day. I didn t really know
what to think, especially when
you re not playing good in every
aspect," Ko said.
"You can t really tell yourself
you re playing well because you re
not. I just tried to be confident and
that was the hardest thing I had
While Ko s performance was the
focus of the morning, fellow Kiwi
Tate finished with an unlikely
share of the first-round lead after
also enjoying a birdie-laden back
nine in the afternoon.
Tate, who also started on the
10th hole, registered birdies on
the first five holes of her back nine
as she got to as low as six under
before she dropped a shot in each
of her final two holes.
e 29-year-old Aucklander, who
is based in Sydney, would arguably
be the story of the tournament
if she was to win given this week
marks the first major step in her
return to the game.
After finishing her studies at the
University of Memphis in 2008,
Tate spent a couple of unsuccessful
seasons on the second-tier circuit
in the US before she gave the
game away and worked in real
estate and as a personal trainer
among other things.
But after deciding she wanted
to have another crack at the game,
she has made a return to the
Australian Ladies Professional
Golf Tour and earned her start this
week through a couple of decent
results at pro-am events in New
South Wales last month.
Tate s opening effort was all the
more impressive given she did not
even get a practice round after
she could not grab an entry to
ursday s pro-am.
"It just felt like easy golf," Tate
said. "My goals for the week were
to just keep things as basic as
possible. Centre of greens, centre
of fairways --- just thinking clearly
out there. You only have to focus
for nine or 10 seconds so I am just
focusing on that moment."
Bae, who owns the course record
at Clearwater with an eight-under
64, will be another to keep an eye
on during the weekend, while
there s a group of eight players at
two under in tie for eighth.
Northland s Caroline Bon was
the only other New Zealander
under the card after she struck a
one-under 71 to be in a share of
16th, while Kiwis Emily Perry
and Cathryn Bristow each shot an
even-par 72 to sit in a tie for 26th.
second round at 12.40pm today.
of the Herald on Sunday
New Zealand win by 87 runs to take
the five-match series 4-0.
Tales of New Zealand cricketing
triumph tend to be rare. e 4-0 one-
day international series victory over
world champions India is the best in
the sport s shorter forms since the
3-0 Chappell-Hadlee trophy defeat
of then-world champions Australia in
February 2007. e crowd s euphoria
rained upon Brendon McCullum and
his team, and deservedly so. Standing
ovations were the order of the evening;
fans know quality when they see it. e
smiles were indelible.
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor
led the ongoing resuscitation of the
nations cricketing pulse in the final
match. eir imperious streak resulted
in a third century partnership in five
matches, making 152 runs from 151
balls for the third wicket after coming
together in the 13th over.
at was the chassis in 303 for five,
the third highest first innings at the
ground. No one has chased higher and
India was no exception, hobbling to
Virat Kohli (82 from 78) and
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (47 from
72) did their best against a rampant
required run rate and a bowling attack,
led by debutant Matt Henry with four
wickets for 38, in a take-no-prisoners
mood. Kyle Mills and Mitchell
McClenaghan assisted Henry s entry
in the eighth over by restricting India
to 15 for one.
As New Zealanders have become
accustomed this summer, Taylor led
the way with another century; 102
off 106 balls. It was his 10th ODI
century and, given his Hamilton
effort on Tuesday, the fourth instance
of a New Zealander scoring back-
to-back centuries in an ODI after
Mark Greatbatch, Martin Guptill and
He incarcerated his legside bravado
for the most part, only unleashing
it towards the end with a series of
slog sweeps, one of which went for
six while another got him out. Taylor
continues to captivate in what is
developing into a colossus of a career.
Williamson made 88 off 91 balls.
e expectations of the child prodigy
are being delivered by the man. All
those years in the ascendancy through
school and age group level are paying
dividends. His biggest asset next to
a Teflon technique is an impervious
temperament when the pressure s on.
He gets about as rattled as a champion
sheepdog on A Dog s Show.
Mixed into his innings was a rare
touch of cheek. e normally respectful
batsman launched a slower ball from
Mohammed Shami over long-off for
six with what appeared to be a forward
defence extension. Sir Viv Richards
here we come... en whistled a ramp
shot off Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Hello
Virender Sehwag... Two footwork
perfect sweeps for four from Ravindra
Jadeja outside off stump added further
style points. Williamson became the
fourth New Zealander to score a
half-century in five consecutive ODIs,
joining Martin Guptill (2011-12),
Roger Twose (2000-01) and Andrew
Jones (who made six in a row in 1988-
If Williamson has, to use the current
parlance, a work on it is that he is
yet to score any of his three one-day
internationals centuries at home.
Tsk, tsk... Backing the champions at
number three and four were cameos
from Brendon McCullum (23 runs off
17 balls), Jimmy Neesham (34 off 19
balls) and Luke Ronchi (11 off 5 balls)
who gobbled up runs at the death.
India started well with the ball.
Kumar and Shami acknowledged
captain MS Dhoni s call after the
second Hamilton loss to use their
brains and improvise. eir back-
of-a-length bowling kept Ryder
and Martin Guptill buttoned early.
However, the momentum of the New
Zealand innings with wickets in
hand eventually enabled the hosts to
prosper. Each bowler was dispatched
for an almost uniform six runs an over.
Dropped catches didn t help; Dhoni s
shoulders drooped when Varun Aaron
and Shami spilt chances. --- APNZ
PICTURE: Getty Images
NZ s Matt Henry, centre, celebrates his
wicket of Shikhar Dhawan with Kane
Williamson, left, and Luke Ronchi.
PICTURE: Getty Images
New Zealand celebrates after winnig last night s game five of the one day international series against India at Westpac
Stadium, in Wellington.
Parker s prospects hitting big time
Ko shows fighting qualities
Black Caps too
hot for India
Top debut for Henry
New Jersey State Police
said today they were
containing a "suspicious"
substance sent to sites
near the stadium where
the Super Bowl will be
played tomorrow, but no
injuries were reported.
Local media said the
packages were sent to sites
including six hotels and
the office of former New
York City Mayor Rudolph
Giuliani. --- Reuters
Speedy defender key in must-win
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