Home' Greymouth Star : February 17th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 9
is week s Blues team announcement for
their opening match of the season will be
keenly anticipated due to the arrival of Benji
Marshall, but the former league player is
likely to continue his rugby education from
the reserves bench.
Marshall has played three halves at
No10 in the pre-season losses against the
Hurricanes, Waratahs and Chiefs, with an
extra 15 minutes at fullback against the
defending champions in Rotorua, and coach
Sir John Kirwan is unlikely to give him a
starting spot against the Highlanders in
Dunedin on Friday night.
Kirwan has acknowledged the learning
cur ve the 28-year-old Marshall is up against
and has consistently said he won t "expose"
him, and that he is prepared to be patient.
With Baden Kerr under an injury cloud
due to a hand injury, all signs are pointing
to the steady Chris Noakes wearing the
No 10 jersey at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Kirwan said he had a good idea of the
starting XV for the Highlanders match
but would finalise the team at a selection
meeting this morning.
Marshall has concentrated on learning the
playmaker s craft after arriving from the
NRL and Wests Tigers, but his short spell
at the back during the Chiefs 43-19 victory
at the Rotorua International Stadium
last Friday, which he enjoyed immensely
according to Kir wan, suggests wearing the
No 15 jersey is a distinct possibility later in
the season. He again had a quiet game at
No 10 but his ability to cover fullback means
he could also provide a valuable bench role.
Charles Piutau is likely to start at fullback
against the Highlanders.
"He came off the field and was really
buoyant about playing 15 minutes there
because it s a different game back there for
him," Kirwan said of Marshall.
ere were few other reasons for Kirwan
to be cheerful as the Chiefs ran in six tries to
three in Rotorua. He cut a frustrated figure
afterwards, saying "we ve got a little bit of
work to do", but yesterday was taking a more
"We improved on areas from the week
before --- our ruck was much better and
our breakdown went well, we re just not
protecting the ball. Most of their tries came
from our turnovers. I think they scored five
tries from turnovers and you can t afford to
do that to anyone let alone the defending
"It would have been nice to put a
performance together --- we didn t do that
in pre-season --- but I m not concerned at
Kirwan appears determined to put the
lessons from last season, when the Blues
faded after an excellent start, to good use.
He will rest front rowers Tony Woodcock
and Keven Mealamu this weekend and
underlined his philosophy of building and
maintaining momentum throughout the
Midfielder Ma a Nonu hopes to return
from ankle surgery for the Blues second
game of the season against the Crusaders
at Eden Park, with loose forward Jerome
Kaino expected back from Japan at the end
of the month.
"I think it s important to finish better,"
he said, when asked how important a good
start was. "Every coach wants to start with a
win --- if you do that you put points in the
bank and that s so important. But I think
consistency across the whole competition
is more important. As you saw last year, we
started with a hiss and a roar but then in the
grind we lost our way a wee bit. We need to
address that. What did the Chiefs do? ey
started well, got a couple of wins early and
then in the grind they won a couple of really
hard-fought games they needed to win."
Marshall likely to get bench role for opener
orn knows how to work as a
professional even if his frame is starting
to betray his intentions ... Highlanders
coach Jamie Joseph will need to find a
way to sustain impact.
Best thing about the Highlanders?
eir foxy home stadium, the Smiths,
Nasi Manu and Brad orn.
e glass-half-full brigade will
trumpet the bright young talent to give
them the energy and zest which was so
absent from their work last season. ey
will point to Argentine prop Matias
Diaz, Malakai Fekitoa, Shane Christie
and Patrick Osborne as players to bring
some sting but it s hard to see the side
making a concerted impact.
ey carry the look of a group who
will give the series a go but will not have
the firepower or magic to hurt too many
sides. Qualifying for the finals will be a
step too far so they need to show some
hardcore fight to persuade their fans to
come through the turnstiles.
e coaching staff has recruited Tony
Brown, who gave plenty as a player and
has been able to draw those qualities
from teams he has coached. But he,
Jamie Joseph, Scott McLeod and Jon
Preston have to find ways to sustain
decent impact, other wise it may be
e Highlanders open their campaign
in Dunedin against the Blues. Five of
their opening seven games are at home.
Match two is an away trip to meet the
champion Chiefs before the Highlanders
have their first bye. Mercifully that
rest round is not worth any points this
season and while the break probably
comes too quickly for the Highlanders it
will allow the staff and players a chance
to assess their ideas and trends which
have developed in the series.
ey have gone for a number of
several unproven players and need their
enthusiasm and skills to bring far more
value to the squad this season and in the
future, than the attempt to buy success
with name players last year. Senior faces
such as Ma a Nonu, Tony Woodcock,
Colin Slade, Jamie Mackintosh, Andrew
Hore, Hosea Gear and Tamati Ellison
have left and taken with them some of
the displeasure they had about Joseph
and his methods last year.
is is a critical year for the staff.
Joseph s iron-clad contract expires and
his three-year tenure will come under
strong scrutiny from his NZRU masters.
Joseph argues that can be measured
in many areas other than just results as
he embarks on a "young guns" season
after the failure of his "hired help"
Meanwhile, 39-year-old Brad orn
will strap his boots on once more and
while there is never any doubt about
his fitness, ticker and desire, his greatest
impact may be in mentoring a number
of the younger players.
orn knows how to work as a
professional even if his frame is
starting to betray his intentions and
the Highlanders need to tap into that
knowledge to bulk up their future.
--- New Zealand Herald
First challenge to
win over fan base
PICTURE: Gettu Images
Benji Marshall passes during the Super Rugby
trial match with the Waratahs.
e Wellington Phoenix s strong run
of form has been brought to a crashing
halt after they were hammered 5-0 by the
Melbourne Heart at Westpac Stadium
Wellington, who had lost only once in their
past eight games, were awful as the Heart
gave them little time on the ball as they put
the Phoenix under constant pressure.
e home side did not respond to the heat
as their passing game completely alluded
them and they were unable to string together
any momentum throughout the contest.
e Heart, who came in to the game
languishing at the bottom of the A-League
ladder, were without midfielder Harry Kewell
who missed the trip to New Zealand due to
a toe injury.
Despite being bottom of the table, the
Heart came into the contest having won
three of their past four games, as they
continued to show improvement under new
coach John van t Schip.
e visitors then took a surprising lead
when giant midfielder Orlando Engelaar
blasted home a shot from outside the box in
the ninth minute.
Listed at 1.96m, Engelaar was a menace
on the paddock for Melbourne and gave
Wellington goalkeeper Glen Moss no
Moss then gave the Heart every chance
to score their second as he inexplicably
left his line to try and cut off a long ball to
Melbourne striker David Williams but left
himself stranded as Williams lobbed it
over the custodian to double their
e first spell was torrid for Wellington
as they never got out of first gear in a game
which featured them wearing a one-off
Down 2-0 at the split, Phoenix coach Ernie
Merrick pulled midfielder Jason Hicks and
inserted teenager Matthew Ridenton to the
action in a bid to shake things up.
But Ridenton was responsible for giving
the ball away in the middle of the park as
Williams then took the opening to score his
second in the 51st minute.
e massacre didn t stop there as a Robbie
Wielaert shot from distance bounced off the
crossbar and in to Moss who was credited
with a freakish own goal.
At 4-0 down, some of the 9726-strong
crowd started to leave as they could tell it
was going to be a painful final half hour.
ey were not wrong either as Williams
became the first Heart player to score a hat-
trick when he curled in a sensational shot in
the 63rd minute.
at goal summed up Wellington s day as
they hung off Williams and gave him too
After Moss had pulled himself off the deck
having dived in an attempt to make a save he
stood with his arms out wide and questioned
what the Phoenix players were doing.
ere were never any decent answers
supplied either as Wellington were left to
contemplate their worst performance of the
e result leaves the Phoenix in seventh
place, just outside the play-off picture.
Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko finished the
Women s Australian Open with a
frustrating one-over par 73 during her
final round yesterday as she claimed a
share of third place.
Starting the day two back from
overnight leaders Chella Choi and
Australian amateur Minjee Lee, Ko
made a rare double bogey at the par-
four sixth, which meant she was always
playing catch-up during her back
nine, although a birdie at the eighth did
e World No 4 then made two birdies
and two bogeys on her back nine as she
could not work her way any further
up the leaderboard as she finished at
10-under for the tournament, two
strokes back from champion Karrie
Webb, alongside France s Karine Icher
and American Paula Creamer.
Webb fired a four-under 68 yesterday
to move through the field and claim the
title ahead of Choi (-11) who signed
for a disappointing two-over 74 in her
fourth round in windy conditions at e
Victoria Golf Club.
While Ko did not win it was another
impressive result for her as she continues
to be remarkably consistent and is
showing few signs of struggle after
making the transition to the professional
ranks and switching coaches.
e 16-year-old began the year with
a seventh place finish at the Bahamas
LPGA Classic last month before she
fell just short of defending her New
Zealand Women s Open crown at
Clearwater as she came second two
Meanwhile, Aucklander Ryan Fox
finished second at the Queensland PGA
Championship on the men s PGA Tour
Fox completed a three-under 67
during his final round yesterday to move
to 21-under for the tournament as he
finished three strokes back from winner
Anthony Summers who was impressed
with Fox s performance.
"Ryan s length is prodigious, if he hits
it straight there won t be too many who
can compete with him," Summers said.
Michael Hendry and Mark Brown
were the next best Kiwis in the field in a
share of 14th at 11-under for the week.
Ko shares third
Hawke s Bay
Doug Holloway became
the most successful
player in the history of
e Charles Tour when
he won the LawnMaster
Classic by two strokes
in perfect conditions
in Palmerston North
e 30-year-old, who
secured his fifth title
to jump one win clear
of New Zealand No1
Michael Hendry, carded
rounds of 67, 68, 71 and
71 for an 11-under par
total at the Manawatu
Golf Club for an
two clear of Masterton
Bateman (69) with
Southland No1 Vaughan
McCall (73), who
claimed the leading
amateur title, and a
further shot back in
a share of third place
alongside South Korean
birdies on 14 and 15
proved the difference in
the end as he held on for
a long awaited fifth win.
"It is pretty cool," said
the likeable professional,
who had his wife
Rebecca on his bag
"I made hard work of it
today at times but it is a
huge thrill to win again
on e Charles Tour."
It was Holloway s first
win on e Charles Tour
in six years --- a long
time ago since he won
three Wairakei Open
titles in succession (from
Holloway, who won
the Taranaki Open in
2005 as an amateur, was
proud to get it done over
"I had forgotten how
hard it is to win over
four rounds," he joked.
"It was a tough battle
but I am really pleased
that when I was put
under pressure this week
"It is pretty neat to get
over the line again. It
has been six long years
since I won one of these
so it s nice to know my
game is moving in the
right direction again.
Hopefully I can move
forward from here."
He said his birdies
midway through the
back nine had him
believing that he had one
hand on the trophy.
"I hadn t birdied 14
all week so it was really
nice to get one there.
We went from being
right next to each [on
the scoreboard] to
me opening up a bit
of a buffer. ey were
Wigan halfback or
hooker Sam Powell will
miss the World Club
Challenge against Sydney
Roosters on Saturday
after sustaining an ankle
injury in training.
e 21-year-old Powell
was ruled out of the clash
at the Sydney Football
Stadium following an
initial diagnosis while the
full extent of the injury
will be investigated by
Wigan s specialists on
their return to the United
Powell had forced his
way into coach Shaun
Wane s reckoning
after impressing in
the opening game of
the season against
Huddersfield and during
Wigan s warm-up
match against New
Zealand Warriors last
Wane said: "It is a big
blow for Sam, who has
worked really hard in
pre-season --- but with
his character I m sure
he will bounce back
stronger." --- AAP
Powell ruled out Auckalnd
e New Zealand
women s hockey team
have drawn 2-2 with hosts
United States today in
their fourth game of the
three nations tournament
in San Diego.
e first half was
competitive with both
teams playing well and
creating chances up front.
Debuting earlier in the
series, Grant finished
off a good attacking
move to collect her first
PICTURE: Getty Images
Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix, left, attempts to beat the defence of Massimo Murdocca of the Heart during yesterday s match.
New Zealand continue its fight-
back in the second test in Wellington
Captain Brendon McCullum on
169, has pulled out his toughest test
knock yet to take the test into the
fourth day and make sure India will
have to bat again.
At three down he came in with 194
required to save the innings defeat,
saw it become 152 with five wickets in
hand, but in the company of
produced a tough rearguard
that has given New Zealand the
hope of clinging onto the series
e two came together in the
fourth over after lunch and walked
back together at stumps, having put
together --- at 158 --- New Zealand s best
sixth-wicket stand in a second
ese fighting scratchy innings
are the thing Watling does, but
McCullum --- playing his 84th
straight test, only three players have
played more straight from their
debut --- had to battle his attacking
instincts, swallow his pride along with
He also absorbed and absorbed
all the pressure before opening up
upon reaching fifty, launching a
calculated assault in an endeavour to
crush the tiring bowlers.
New Zealand lead by 101 runs with
five wickets remaining.
England prop Dan Cole will miss the
remainder of the Six Nations because of a
neck injury, it has been announced.
e Leicester front-row is suffering from a
bulging disc in his neck which has trapped
His injury was diagnosed during a training
session at St George s Park, the England
national football team s Midlands training
base, earlier this week.
Cole will now miss England s three
remaining Six Nations matches, starting with
the Twickenham clash against tournament
leaders Ireland this coming Saturday.
"It s massively disappointing for Dan,
Leicester and England but the important
thing is that this has been diagnosed and that
Dan gets the appropriate rest and treatment,"
said England coach Stuart Lancaster, who
had been hoping to name an unchanged side
to play the Irish.
e 26-year-old Cole has become
something of a mainstay since making his
debut off the bench against Wales in 2010.
And the absence of the 48-times capped
forward, who also played in all three tests
during the British and Irish Lions 2-1 series
win in Australia last year, leaves Lancaster
with an unwelcome headache.
Bath prop David Wilson has only just
returned to action following a calf injury while
Sale s Henry omas is still an international
novice, with just three England appearances
to his name.
"Our medics are working closely with
Leicester s to come up with a programme
that will ensure Dan returns in the best
possible shape," said Lancaster yesterday.
"In the meantime, it s great to have David
Wilson back, as well as Henry omas ---
who has trained well and came off the bench
" is will be an opportunity to develop
experience in this area."
Leicester director of rugby Richard
Cockerill said: "It s very disappointing for
us and for England --- and obviously for
Dan --- but his long-term fitness is more
"He ll have time to get over this issue
and come back when the medical teams
are satisfied with his progress," the former
England hooker added. --- AAP
Cole ruled out
inspector will look
into possible structural
damage caused by an
October fire at a World
Cup stadium in western
Brazil, following a
Reuters report that the
blaze was far worse than
government officials have
e inspector, whose
visit to the stadium was
already scheduled for
Monday, will report his
findings back to world
soccer body FIFA and
Brazilian officials, FIFA
Fischer said yesterday.
"We re looking into the
allegations" that the fire
caused structural damage
to the stadium, Fischer
on Saturday that the
October 25 fire at
Arena Pantanal caused
structural damage that
the overall stability
of the construction,"
according to a previously
undisclosed report by
state prosecutors in Mato
document, which was
written in December
based on an inspection
by a local civil engineer,
contains photos that
it says are of cracked
concrete in the stadium s
pillars as well as less
severe damage to its steel
e state agency
overseeing the stadium s
that the fire had caused
structural damage and
said the prosecutor s
report was drafted before
recent repairs were
e repairs, the agency
said in a statement, were
followed by stress tests
and assurances given by
the builders to the state
agency that no structural
damage exists. --- Reuters
Blaze far worse
Black Caps bat on
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