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All Blacks first five-eighths
Aaron Cruden will join loose
forward Liam Messam as
co-captains of the Chiefs
for their 2014 Super Rugby
It will be the third season in a
row the Chiefs have opted for
co-captions with Messam
and Craig Clarke, who left to
play club rugby Ireland in the
offseason, sharing the leadership
Cruden, 25, captained the
New Zealand under-20s to
a world title in 2009 and
captained Manawatu at the age
Messam is the highest capped
Chief with 113 matches and
Cruden has played 36 matches
for the two-time defending
"Liam has been huge for us,"
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said.
"He has an enormous work
ethic and has led us to back-to-
back champion-ships. He is an
uncompromising player and a
leader who epitomises Chiefs
"Aaron has been a massive
influence in our success to date.
His rugby knowledge, attitude
and ability to direct a game is
"He is greatly respected, a
natural leader and will thrive
with this added responsibility."
Cruden is rapt to be awarded
the role of co-captain.
"It is a huge honour to co-
captain the team with Liam,"
"We have clear goals that we
want to achieve and know it s
important that we work harder
than ever in order to reach
e Chiefs will play their
first pre-season match against
the Reds in Toowoomba on
Saturday before heading to
Rotorua on Valentines Day to
play the Blues at Rotorua.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Kevin Stadler can attempt to follow in
his father s Masters footsteps after finally
claiming his first US PGA tour title in
his 239th start.
Stadler, the 33-year-old son of 1982
Masters champion Craig "Walrus"
Stadler, earned a start at Augusta
National when he beat Bubba Watson
and Graham DeLaet by one stroke to
triumph in the Phoenix Open.
He fired a final round three-under-par
68 to finish at 16-under and claimed the
trophy when playing partner Watson (71)
missed a five footer for par on the last
hole that would have forced a play-off.
Stadler just missed his birdie putt and
tapped in for par.
"Obviously I would have liked to make
that putt there and won it that way, but
it s been a long time coming and I ll
take it any way I can get it," Stadler said,
whose previous biggest win was at the
European Tour s 2006 Johnnie Walker
Classic in Australia.
Earlier Canada s DeLaet had seven
birdies and one bogey in a 65 for his share
Japan s Hideki Matsuyama (69) and
American Hunter Mahan (68) shared
fourth on 270.
Tied for the halfway lead after opening
with consecutive 65s, Matt Jones faded
to a tie for 12th after a closing 73 left
him seven shots behind Stadler while
countryman Greg Chalmers (73) was a
shot further back.
Raised in Colorado, Stadler played in
Denver Broncos colours on NFL Super
Bowl day, wearing an orange shirt and
blue pants and hat.
Stadler had five birdies to offset a
double-bogey six at the par-four 11th.
"It wasn t pretty," Stadler said.
ugly shots, but it all worked out."
e Stadlers are the ninth father-son
duo to win on the PGA Tour.
Watson went into the final round with
a two-stroke lead, but Stadler erased that
advantage with birdies from 10 and 26
feet at the first and second holes.
Watson and Stadler both birdied the
third to stay tied, Watson edging back in
front with a birdie at the par-three fourth
where he landed his tee shot five feet
from the pin.
Stadler jumped ahead at the ninth,
dropping a four-foot birdie putt as
Watson failed to get up and down from a
greenside bunker for a bogey.
After an errant drive at 11 Stadler had
to take an unplayable lie en route to his
double-bogey that again saw him fall
Watson s bogey at 16 put them level
again, and after both birdied 17 they
went to the final hole tied. --- AAP-AFP
e chance to win a third straight
America s Cup with Oracle Team USA
was a bigger allure to skipper Jimmy
Spithill than taking a big-money offer
from a foreign challenger.
Spithill announced yesterday that he
will be back with Oracle Team USA
for the 35th America s Cup, which is
expected to be held in August 2017.
e 34-year-old Australian said his
relationships with software billionaire
Larry Ellison, who owns Oracle Team
USA, and syndicate CEO Russell
Coutts, a five-time cup winner, are
"It s obviously great to be back,"
Spithill told e Associated Press by
phone from San Francisco. " ere were
some really great offers out there but
I ve been a part of this since day 1, when
we had our first win in 2010. Larry was
a big part of it for me. He s always sort
of backed me up even in some tough
times, and Russell. I wouldn t be here
without them. I want the opportunity,
too, to potentially win three in a row
as a skipper. is is really such a great
team. I want to keep it going with them
and I want to go for the three-peat."
In 2010, Spithill, then 30, became the
youngest skipper to win the America s
Cup when Oracle beat Alinghi of
Switzerland in a two-race sweep off
Spithill helped lead one of the greatest
comebacks in sports when Oracle Team
USA won eight straight races against
Emirates Team New Zealand in the
34th America s Cup on San Francisco
Bay in September. e Kiwis reached
match point at 8-1 on September 18
before Oracle began its comeback.
Spithill said one of the syndicates that
made a run at him was Italy s Luna
Rossa, which he skippered in the 2007
America s Cup challenger series.
But Spithill said he would not be where
he is today without Ellison and Coutts,
a New Zealander who sailed unbeaten
through three straight America s Cup
matches, for two different countries,
before becoming Oracle Team USA s
Spithill said Ellison, the CEO of
Oracle Corp., "is a bit of a mentor
but also a good mate. To get that
relationship with someone like that,
they re probably few and far between
in a lifetime. It s the same with Russell.
ey re obviously both tough guys and
competitors, but are very fair. at s the
kind of environment I enjoy working
in. ey give you kind of the burden of
trust. ey re not micro-managers. It s a
kind of environment in which you get
opportunities, and that allows you to
grow. You become a better person and
better athlete. I learned a lot from the
last campaign and I m excited about the
Despite being funded by Ellison s
fortune, Oracle Team USA had a rough
buildup to the last America s Cup.
Spithill was at the wheel of the team s
first 22m catamaran when it capsized
on San Francisco Bay in October 2011,
costing Oracle nearly four months of
Last August, the team was snared in
one of the biggest cheating scandals
in America s Cup history when it was
revealed it had illegally modified boats
in warm-up regattas. Four days before
the America s Cup match began, Oracle
Team USA was docked two points
and a key sailor was booted from the
team. Oracle struggled badly against
Team New Zealand before making a
key crew change and refining its sailing
technique to take advantage of its boat s
clear speed advantage.
Spithill thinks it will be tough to
defend the cup again.
"I think the challengers this time
will be stronger than ever," he said.
" e event commercially is in a place
it s never been before. e comeback
was a huge part of that. When people
tuned in, they were blown away by the
product. ere s a lot of interest. We
need to develop a very good programme
Unhappy with terms being offered
by San Francisco for the next regatta,
America s Cup officials are looking at
Hawaii, San Diego and other venues.
e 35th America s Cup is expected
to be sailed in 18m catamarans with a
crew of eight in order to cut costs.
" ese boats really are just scratching
the surface," Spithill said.
" is is really an exciting time for the
sport moving forward."
Sixteen-year-old Kumara skateboarder
Cade Wilson-Russ has hit the big time
--- he is competing on a national level and
last week became the first New Zealand-
based rider to win sponsorship with Nike.
A recent skateboarding trip to
Melbourne culminated with his being
offered a sponsorship deal with Nike SB
Wilson-Russ s skating story started
at the age of 10, when he won his first
competition in Reefton.
Since then he has won many regional
competitions around New Zealand and
has finished second and third at the New
Wilson-Russ soon caught the eye of
older skaters and skate companies who
were impressed with his gutsy but laid
back mature style.
He won his first sponsorship when he
was 12, and is still currently sponsored by
Nelson Creek Skateboards and Auckland-
based Irrom Distribution.
Having won sponsorship with Nike, his
skating career over the next few years
will be mapped out by Nike and brings
with it obligations of filming his skating,
and photography shoots for the company.
He has to represent the label by doing
promotional work for advertisements in
magazines and videos, and also on the
ground at competitions.
Filming starts this weekend in
Christchurch, followed by another trip
back to Melbourne in April, and then
China in June.
Scotland s Stephen
Gallacher struck a
final round 72 to
clinch the $2.5 million
Dubai Desert Classic
yesterday as he overcame
a nightmare start to
become the first player
to retain the coffee pot
Dubai win 12 months
ago was his first title in
nearly a decade, skittered
four bogeys on tbhe
front nine holes, but
clawed back four shots
after the turn in a gritty
display to end on 272.
"My emotions are
gone, I m a ner vous
wreck," the world No 67
"I never really played
the front nine that well
all week. No one was
racing ahead, that was
the key, if someone had
come out of the traps
maybe it would have been
His closest challenger was
Argentina s Emiliano Grillo (66),
who sunk a 18m eagle putt on
the 18th for 273, while France s
Romain Wattel (66) and Brooks
Koepka (70) of the United States
were tied on 274.
Gallacher, 39, began the day
two shots clear of world No 6
Rory McIlroy and most of the
8500 crowd must have anticipated
a classic duel between the wily
veteran and golf s great young
But both players faltered on an
overcast Majlis course, although
that made for a thrilling finale as
four different players --- Gallacher,
McIlroy, Koepka and Grillo
--- claimed outright leadership
at some stage, while England s
Robert Rock and Finland s Mikko
Ilonen also shared top spot.
Gallacher hit his first two drives
into the rough to begin with
successive bogeys and gift playing
partner McIlroy the lead.
Yet the Northern Irishman failed
to capitalise. He slugged his tee
shot at the par-three seventh into
the water for a bogey and dropped
three further shots between holes
10 and 13, dooming his hopes of
ending a 14-month title drought
on the European Tour as he
slipped to a share of ninth.
" e golf course played a lot
differently today," McIlroy said.
" e greens were firmer. e
rare times I did get the ball close I
didn t make any putts. It was one
of those days."
Gallacher, in contrast, was a man
transformed after the turn, where
a day earlier he had equalled a
European Tour record with nine-
under-par on the back nine.
"I think yesterday was the key ---
Saturday is when you re trying to
get into contention, to get a lead,"
He did not quite reach the same
heights yesterday, but a chip from
the rough on the 17th provided
a one-foot birdie chance he duly
converted to reclaim the outright
lead, making par on the 18th with
a nerveless three-foot putt to seal
Gallacher is one of golf s late
bloomers, rising from 461 in the
rankings in 2010 to be on the cusp
of the top 40 following back-to-
back Dubai titles.
Now with three tour victories
to his name, he has narrowed his
sights on playing in September s
Ryder Cup, which will be held at
Gleneagles, around 65km from his
"I wouldn t want to get too far
ahead of myself, but my uncle
played it eight times, captained it
three and vice-captained it two,
so it s pretty much what I grew up
watching," Gallacher said, referring
to Bernard Gallacher, who
skippered Europe s 1995 winning
Ryder Cup team.
"For my generation it s never
going to be in Scotland again.
It s always been a long-term goal
to play in a Ryder Cup, it just so
happens that the best spell I m
having is when it s in Scotland.
ere s seven months to go, a lot of
golf to be played and a lot of good
golf is needed to get in."
e Black Sox will take
on Australia in a three-
test series in Auckland
e games will be
played at Rosedale Park,
the venue for their 2013
triumph, with one game
scheduled on Friday,
March 28, and a double
header the following day.
It is the first time since
2008 they have played
an international at home
apart from last year s
New Zealand beat
Australia in the quarter-
finals on the way to
winning the world title.
"It s exciting for the
Black Sox and for
softball," New Zealand
coach Mark Sorenson
said. " e games which
were televised last year
at the world champs
were well received.
ere s no better team
to play than the Aussies.
In the last six to seven
years there has been real
competition between the
two countries which is
to their credit --- they ve
raised their game.
"We will select the best
team available from the
players in New Zealand.
We want to reward the
domestic based players."
e games will be
screened live on Sky TV.
e Tall Blacks have been
drawn in the same group as
Olympic champions USA for the
FIBA Basketball World Cup in
New Zealand will also face
Dominican Rep, Turkey, Finland
and Ukraine on group C in
the tournament which starts on
e Tall Blacks are the third
highest ranked team in the group
behind the USA and Turkey.
At the last World Cup in 2010,
the champion USA side sent a
relatively inexperienced team
which contained the likes of now
NBA stars Kevin Durant, Derrick
Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kevin
e top four in each group
advance to the next round of the
Group A.--- Spain, Serbia, France,
Brazil, Egypt, Iran.
Group B.--- Philippines, Senegal,
Puerto Rico, Argentina, Greece,
Group C.--- Dominican Rep,
Turkey, USA, Finland, New
Group D.--- Slovenia, Lithuania,
Angola, Korea, Mexico, Australia.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Stephen Gallacher and Rory McIlroy on the par three 7th hole during the final
round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in Dubai yesterday.
Tall Blacks to face USA
Stadler out to follow father s footsteps
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Kumara teenage skateboarder Cade Wilson-Russ with some of the gear he snared last week in a sponsorship with Nike SB
Australia, while on a skateboarding trip to Melbourne.
Coast teen snares Nike deal
Spithill back with Oracle, chasing three-peat
Cruden steps up as Chiefs co-captain
Chiefs co-captains Liam Messam, left, and Aaron Cruden.
Soccer s rule-making body, the
International Football Association
Board (IFAB), is to hold preliminary
discussions at its next meeting on
the use of sin bins and video replays
to help referees, FIFA said today.
FIFA emphasised that both
proposals were included for
discussion only and could be
submitted for further examinations
to IFAB s two new advisory panels.
e items were "not yet at the
stage of being considered ... for
decision in terms of alterations
to the existing laws of the game,"
world soccer s governing body said.
punishment", where a player
concedes a penalty, is sent off and
then has to serve an automatic
suspension, will also be on the
agenda as a discussion item at the
meeting in Zurich on March 1.
IFAB will also decide whether to
allow male players to use headgear
on religious grounds and permit
so-called "rolling substitutions" in
amateur and recreational football.
ese would allow players who
had been substituted to return to
the pitch later in the match, a move
designed to bring greater flexibility
and maintain interest in grass-roots
FIFA president Sepp Blatter and
his UEFA counterpart Michel
Platini have both advocated the use
of sin bins, in which players would
sit out for five to ten minutes for
e inclusion of video replays,
which are used in other sports such
as rugby and cricket, on the agenda
is something of a surprise, however,
as football has in general been wary
of using any form of technology to
help match officials.
It took years of debate for the
sport to accept the use of goal-
line technology, which was finally
approved in 2012 after a series of
controversies where goals were
shown to have been wrongly
disallowed because officials had not
seen the ball cross the line.
IFAB looks at sinbins, videos
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