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e C J Bruton farewell tour
began with a bang thanks to
another player who may be in the
final days of his Breakers career.
Bruton was the one soaking up
the adulation in his final game at
the North Shore Events Centre ---
the standing ovations, the blown
kisses, the commemorative t-shirts
--- but it was Gary Wilkinson who
really brought the house down.
Wilkinson s 30 points helped the
Breakers to a face-saving 106-78
win over the Sydney Kings last
night, a victory that ensured the
defending champions would avoid
the wooden spoon.
After last week bowing out of
play-off contention once and for
all, the cellar would have been
an ignominious, if not entirely
undeserved, place for the Breakers
(11-16) to find themselves come
the end of the campaign.
Instead, their season will wrap
against Cairns at Vector Arena next
week, an occasion that will mark
Bruton s last appearance for the club
he turned from stragglers into serial
" at s one of the things that I ll
always remember," coach Dean
Vickerman said. " e confidence
he s brought to everyone else in
New Zealand basketball. ere s
always a belief, there s always a
positivity --- just the swagger that
he s brought to the players in this
Bruton might not be alone in
saying goodbye. e status of both
imports is under question, even if
Wilkinson played like a man who
should unquestionably be brought
Seeing Sydney at the opposite end
aided his cause --- having scored
33, 31 and 17 against the Kings
this season --- but Wilkinson was
unable to explain his predilection
for playing the Kings.
"Sometimes I find a good rhythm
and for some reason I can stay in it
the whole game," he said. "It s just
been like that when we ve played
them every time."
In addition to the American s
offence, Bruton had 14 and Tom
Abercrombie chipped in with 14,
helping the Breakers overcome the
twin efforts of Sam Young (24) and
A J Ogilvy (25).
at looked unlikely early
when the Breakers again started
slowly, scoring only six points in
the opening six minutes. ey
eventually ended the period level
before Wilkinson exploded to break
His one-man show midway
through the quarter produced nine
straight points and his total of 18 at
the half saw the Breakers up by two
Bruton was bound to find form
at some point and that hot streak
arrived to begin the third, with nine
consecutive points helping his side
establish a double-digit advantage
heading to the fourth.
While that seemed healthy
enough, last week s capitulation
proved no lead was too large. On
this occasion, however, the Breakers
never threatened to throw away the
Friday, March 14, 2014
Top seeds, the Rangiora
family team of Matt and
Nicole Summerfield, will
be first off the starter s
block when the Stadium
Finance Westland Rally
roars into action in
e rally --- televised
live on TV3 s CRC
Motorsport show --- is
the first round of the
Mainland series, which
involves six rounds around
Otago, Southland and
It swings into action
outside the Repco store, in Tainui
Street, when the Summerfields roar
away from the start line at 8.15am,
closely followed by Timaru s Darren
Galbraith and James Bracefield.
e top West Coast hopes, Cleve
Kokshoorn and Graham Ferguson,
are tipped to trouble the big guns,
and last year s winner, Regan Ross of
Kaikoura, will be pushing his car hard
an attempt to defend his title.
Brian Stokes, twice New Zealand
rally champion, will contest the event in
his Mark II Escort.
Rally organiser Jim Hewlett said the
drivers really rated the West Coast
" e reason we keep coming back
here is because the roads are fantastic
and the residents of Greymouth always
get behind us to make sure it s a great
event. What we have down here in
Greymouth is really special."
e Westland Rally has been running
for 27 years.
of the Westport News
Buller Rugby says it is so short
of referees for the coming season
it looks likely some of the district s
games will not be played.
Currently the union had five
referees who oversaw all the games in
each age range, Referees Association
chairman Terry Archer.
However, with some referees
hanging up their boots while others
went into coaching local sides, there
was a shortage of officials.
Archer said the union needed three
Up to now it had been making do
with people helping out when there
was a shortage.
While that was fine for rugby
played at under-10 level, in higher
age grades referees needed a more
detailed knowledge of the law.
Some current players were also
refereeing junior rugby, just before
they played matches themselves.
ere was a particular shortage
of officials for matches in the
under-14 to under-18 age range, he
Archer strongly urged any former
male or female players, or individuals
with a strong interest in rugby, to
make themselves available to referee.
Anyone who put themselves
forward would have to undertake
a one-hour session on Tuesday or
Wednesday evenings every week
during the season on the laws of the
e knowledge provided to
budding referees could also equip
them with the skills to develop a
career which could lead to refereeing
at a national level.
Former referees like himself would
also be on hand to advise those
without any previous refereeing
experience. Officials would be
provided with the relevant sports kit.
e union was also very keen to
attract women to refereeing.
He said every other province in
New Zealand had female referees.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Breakers Gary Wilkinson slam dunks in last night s clash with the Sydney
Kings at the North Shore Events Centre, in Auckland.
Breakers bag crucial win
Buller Rugby desperate for more referees
Brian Stokes in action.
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic
cruised into the quarter-finals of the
BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells
yesterday after Wimbledon champion
Andy Murray and Australian Open
winner Stanislas Wawrinka both fell
in the fourth round.
In a tournament full of surprises,
Federer and Djokovic struck a blow
for the old world order with Federer
beating Germany s Tommy Haas
6-4, 6-4 and Djokovic coming back
to down Croatia s Marin Cilic 1-6,
Federer and Djokivic are the only
players ranked in the world s top
10 to reach the quarter-finals after
Wawrinka and Murray joined the
big-name casualties when they both
crashed to lower-ranked opponents
on another day of upsets in the
Wawrinka suffered his first loss this
year when his 13-match winning
streak came to a shuddering halt as
he was beaten 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-1 by
South African Kevin Anderson.
"It wasn t really on my mind that he
had won Australia," Anderson said,
whose next opponent is Federer.
"It feels great to beat somebody who
obviously has just won a grand slam."
"I know how tough he is," Federer
"He s the best here usually in the
States, outdoors on the hard courts.
at s when he s had his biggest
to start off
Federer and Djokovic cruise into quarter-finals
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