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Konrad Hurrell has his sights set on playing
for the Kiwis in this year s Anzac test but
his first goal will be to break back into the
Warriors starting line-up.
e blockbusting centre has been left out
of the Warriors side for the season opener
against the Eels in Sydney on Sunday. Carlos
Tuimavave has instead been selected at right
centre, with Dane Nielsen taking his regular
spot at left centre after overcoming a niggling
hip injury which saw him miss all three pre-
season games and the Auckland Nines.
Coach Matt Elliott is an avowed Tuimavave
fan, and Hurrell s defensive frailties have
counted against him.
On attack, Hurrell is one of the most
devastating ball-runners. He is difficult to
stop close to the line --- his rate of 25 tries in
but he can also be exposed on defence and the
right edge was a major issue last season.
Hurrell also admitted the club were not
impressed with him when he came back
to pre-season training over weight but said
he had shed the kilos and had a strong half
against the Broncos in the final pre-season
hitout in Dunedin.
"Carlos stole the march through the nines
and trials," Elliott said. "Against the Broncos,
he put two tries on for Glen (Fisiiahi) and
scored one himself. Konnie did really well
in the half he played. at was a really, really
tough call but Carlos has had his nose in
front the whole pre-season.
"Sometimes what you have to do is put
yourself in the best position to compete for
the spot. It s highly competitive. Carlos is at
the race. Jerome Ropati missed out, too, and
he s had a really good pre-season. Our centres
are on notice."
Tuimavave played three games last season,
spending most of the year with the Auckland
Vulcans. He grew up playing five-eighth
but the Warriors are keen to turn him into
a centre and, at 1.85m and 94kg, he has the
It has not always been an easy and happy
transition and in his eight NRL games since
his debut in 2012 he has played three at
fullback, three at centre and twice come off
Elliott has plumped for four debutants to
face the Eels. Sam Tomkins, Chad Townsend
and Jayson Bukuya were all expected to
feature but less obvious was the choice of
John Palavi as starting back-rower.
e 21-year-old was on the cusp of making
his NRL debut in 2012 when he was 18th
man for a game and is into his third full
season with the first-grade squad.
Ben Henry is still getting back to full fitness
after his serious knee injury last year and
will play his first game when he turns out for
the Vulcans this weekend. Captain Simon
Mannering was an option in the middle of
the park but Elliott said Palavi deserved his
"His performances in the trials demanded
he be picked there," he said. "His whole pre-
season he s brought a toughness I didn t know
he had in him. His team-mates want him
there. ey believe he s what we need in our
Manu Vatuvei missed all the pre-season
games with injury but comes straight back
into the side and Glen Fisiiahi has won the
battle for the right-wing spot over the likes of
David Fusitua and Ngani Laumape.
Elliott has opted for a big bench, with Sione
Lousi joining Jacob Lillyman, Suaia Matagi
and Feleti Mateo. Townsend would play at
dummy-half if Nathan Friend is injured, with
Mateo or Tuimavave slotting into the halves.
Warriors: Sam Tomkins, Glen Fisiiahi, Dane
Nielsen, Carlos Tuimavave, Manu Vatuvei,
Chad Townsend, Shaun Johnson, Sam
Rapira, Nathan Friend, Ben Matulino, Jayson
Bukuya, Simon Mannering (c), John Palavi.
Interchange: Jacob Lillyman, Suaia Matagi,
Sione Lousi, Feleti Mateo.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
PICTURE: Getty Images
South Africa s Graeme Smith comes out to bat as the Australian team welcomes him with a guard of honour today at
Sahara Park Newlands in Cape Town.
ere is a serious sense of deja vu
in Cape Town, where South Africa
stonewalled their way to 4-71 at
stumps on day four of a test they
are desperate to draw and captain
Graeme Smith s international
cricket career is over as his side
appear headed for their first test
series loss in five years.
David Warner, who continued his
career-best form by becoming the
first Australian to score two tons
in a test since Phillip Hughes did
it in series win over the Proteas
five years ago, says Newlands is no
A B de Villiers and Faf du Plessis
must do the bulk of the work
tomorrow if their world No 1 side
are to avoid defeat in the test series
De Villiers has already soaked up
100 balls, while du Plessis will be
next man in when nightwatchman
Kyle Abbott falls.
It is a near-identical scenario to
what happened 16 months ago in
Adelaide, when de Villiers and du
Plessis resumed on day five with
their team 4-77 and considered no
chance of surviving.
Du Plessis did just that, finishing
110 not out and lasting almost
eight hours on debut.
In 2012 the draw was part of a
1-0 series win, now it is a result
that would leave the series squared
1-1 and make Graeme Smith s
swansong a more memorable one.
Warner acknowledged the
similarities but took confidence
from one key difference.
" e issue last time was that the
ball wasn t reversing in Adelaide,"
he said after smacking 145 to
bring his series tally to 543 runs at
an average of 90.5.
"We have that in our advantage
"We have to play boring cricket
... we are really going to have to
ere are other factors that
suggest Australia are on track to
record their greatest achievement
under Michael Clarke, who
declared at 5-303 late in the
second session to hold a 510-run
James Pattinson broke down
in the first innings of the 2012
test, this time he made the
breakthrough 20 minutes before
stumps when Hashim Amla was
Ryan Harris and Mitchell
Johnson were not in the XI, and
now they are bowling impeccably
and will take the second new ball.
Proteas coach Russell Domingo
took heart from the hosts
form in not only Adelaide but
Johannesburg, where they also put
up the wall for approximately four-
and-a-half sessions against India
three months ago.
"We ve managed to get ourselves
out of holes like this before, so
it s a big plus we can call on that
experience," Domingo said.
" e wicket is still pretty good.
We re hoping AB can score the
slowest 40 in the history of the
Romantics had hoped for one last
hurrah from Smith, who was given
a guard of honour as he ended his
stellar test career 12 years after it
started against the same opposition
at the same venue.
Instead Johnson, who first
planted the seeds of retirement
doubt in Smith s mind when he
made a fool of him at Centurion,
again snared the 33-year-old s
scalp with a short-pitched ball.
Johnson also uprooted Dean
Elgar s stumps, while Harris
trapped Alviro Petersen lbw to
claim his 100th test wicket and
start the collapse that finished with
the Proteas 3-15 at tea.
Organisers of the New Zealand
Open confirmed today that next year s
tournament will be moved back two
weeks to be held from March 12 to 15.
Staged at e Hills and Millbrook
Resort in Queenstown last week,
tournament organisers have hailed the
event, won by Australian Dimitrios
Papadatos, "a huge success" confirming
an increased crowd of 20,000 attended
over the four days.
"We re really pleased with the official
numbers," tournament director Michael
is year was the first time a national
Open had been held in this format,
running over two courses with a pro-am
Next year the event will be held at e
Hills and Millbrook Resort once again
and the new date in March will more
closely align with a swing of events that
lead into the Japan golf tour.
"It makes a lot of sense to push the
event back a little so players can have a
lead in to major tournaments in Asia,"
Glading said. --- APNZ
e All Whites are heading into
a new era as they eye World Cup
qualification four years down the line
but will take on an opposition tonight
who are very much focused on the
New Zealand play a strong Japan
side heading into their final phase of
preparations for this year s World Cup
and will do it with a youthful side.
Interim coach Neil Emblen will hand
debuts to teenagers Tyler Boyd and
Ryan omas and seven of the starting
side have played just 24 internationals
It is an exciting line-up, and one that
is likely to be around for some time as
the focus goes onto qualification for the
2018 World Cup in Russia, but they
face a difficult assignment against Japan,
who drew with the Netherlands (ranked
10th in the world) and beat Belgium
(11th) in their last two outings.
ey will also have to cope without
regular captain Winston Reid and
Marco Rojas, who are both injured, and
vice-captain Tommy Smith, who asked
to be overlooked so he can focus on his
Emblen has not been afraid to make
his mark, leaving a handful of long-time
All Whites out of the squad, and opting
to leave Shane Smeltz, New Zealand s
second-most prolific striker of all time,
on the bench.
Chris Wood and Boyd will start up
front with Tim Payne playing as a
holding midfielder shielding a back
four of Storm Roux, Michael Boxall,
Andrew Durante and Bill Tuiloma.
Kosta Barbarouses, Michael
McGlinchey and omas make up an
attack-minded midfield trio.
"I think it is on form," Emblen said.
" e players are ready. ey are playing
week-in, week-out, they are fit and look
sharp. Lots of them are quick, young
and vibrant and if you are playing a
quick and vibrant team like Japan then
these players will be able to combat that
better than others. ey are players who
are ready right now."
Emblen hopes he can prove he is
ready, too. He has been given the job for
just one game after three years as Ricki
Herbert s assistant and New Zealand
Football are in no hurry to make a
permanent appointment with no more
internationals planned until September.
He is had just two training sessions
with the players since arriving in Tokyo
but sent each player homework a few
weeks ago in the shape of video clips
of their opposition. It s an attacking
lineup, but Emblen also wants them to
play with "true Kiwi spirit" based on
resilience, hard work and putting their
bodies on the line.
"If every player understands their role
and we are really competitive and give
Japan a really good game, I would be
happy," Emblen said. "Whether that s
for this one game or more, it would give
me peace of mind. I would be proud to
say I have coached the side once. Not
many people get that opportunity.
"I m at ease either way. I am going to
give it my best shot and if I do that and
New Zealand Football appoint a top
coach to come in and take the team, I
hope if I have done well enough I can
remain part of it anyway."
Japan have dipped to 50 in the world
but feature the likes of Manchester
United s Shinji Kagawa, Inter Milan s
Yuto Nagatomo and AC Milan
midfielder Keisuke Honda.
All Whites: Glen Moss; Storm Roux,
Michael Boxall, Andrew Durante,
Bill Tuiloma; Tim Payne; Kosta
Barbarouses, Michael McGlinchey,
Ryan omas; Chris Wood, Tyler
Boyd. Subs (from): Jacob Spoonley,
Ben Sigmund, Chris James, Cameron
Howieson, Shane Smeltz, Rory Fallon,
Jeremy Brockie. --- APNZ
Tuimavave gets nod over
Hurrell for Warriors opener
PICTURE: Getty Images
Warrior Carlos Tuimavave scores a try against the Brisbane Broncos last month in Dunedin.
NZ Open dates moved
usher in new era
Smith s swansong off key
Melbourne Storm back-rower
Tohu Harris is not one to dwell
on disappointments and says
there were positives to come
out of his New Zealand World
Cup squad axing.
Harris made way when
superstar Sonny Bill
Williams made a late decision
to play in last year s World
While initially disappointed,
the 22-year-old said his
omission meant he could have
ankle surgery and prepare for a
January wedding to his partner
" ere was nothing I could do
about it so I just looked at the
positives," he said.
"I still had my wedding to
look forward and it meant that
I had the extra time to have
the surgery and get my injury
right before the start of the
Harris wants to make a name
for his on-field exploits rather
than as the player dropped for
If he emulates his 2013
season --- scoring a try in the
World Club Challenge, making
his Kiwis test debut in the
Anzac test, playing NRL finals
and being named the Storm s
rookie of the year --- that is a
Harris said there was added
competition for spots in the
Storm pack this NRL season,
which gets under way against
old foes Manly at Brookvale
Oval on Friday night.
e Storm have added some
depth in the for wards through
new recruits Felise Kaufusi
(Cowboys), Dayne Weston
(Panthers), and Manly cult hero
Prop Rose has shed 8kg and
is fighting fit after switching to
the Storm on a one-year deal.
Harris said Rose had not
spoken about facing his old
team, nor had the Melbourne
players probed him for inside
"We re not really focused on
"We re focused on ourselves
and trying to get out processes
right and be as consistent as we
can be," Harris said.
" ere s a lot of competition
and big George adds a lot of
experience to the team.
"It s been better for the team
overall with everyone pushing
themselves to get a spot."
Positives came from Kiwis axing, says Harris
He has lost almost 600 NRL
games worth of experience from
his pack, but South Sydney coach
Michael Maguire is confident the
Rabbitohs still have depth and
quality in their forward stocks.
After 2013, Souths bid farewell
to veteran trio and international
representatives Michael Crocker,
Roy Asotasi and Jeff Lima plus
backup hooker Nathan Peats.
e Rabbitohs did not recruit big
name replacements, though they
added experienced former Canberra
forward Joe Picker to their roster.
Despite the personnel losses,
Maguire was able to name a near
pack for tomorrow s season opener
against local rival and reigning
premiers Sydney Roosters.
He pointed to the continued
development at representative level
of Englishman George Burgess and
Queensland Origin duo Ben Te o
and Chris McQueen.
Maguire was also bullish about the
potential impact of moving long-
standing five-eighth John Sutton to
He expressed no concerns about
their forward depth despite the
player losses in that area.
"Not at all, Crocky didn t play a
lot last year and Roy battled a few
injuries there, so a lot of players last
year actually got a lot of experience,"
"I think we re actually heading in a
really really good direction with our
" e likes of George Burgess
has stepped up and he s played
international football, and got great
"With Ben Te o and Chris
McQueen playing State of Origin,
and the experience that we ve got
out of that, and then adding John
(Sutton) in the middle just allows us
to steer things around through the
middle of the park."
While Maguire will not talk up
Souths prospects of breaking their
43-year premiership drought, he
does not hide their desire to do
better than the preliminary final
exits of the past two years and at
least make the grand final.
" at s why we play the game, I
can t lie about that, that s the whole
reason why we want to play footy,"
Maguire said. --- AAP
Maguire happy with Souths forward stocks
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