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Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith
showed his new contract is money well
spent after steering the Storm to a
28-20 win over Newcastle in last night s
Smith signed a new four-year deal
earlier this month and again proved his
immense value, sealing another victory
for the unbeaten Storm.
In round one against Manly he kicked
a field goal to get them home and this
time scored a late try to stall a Knights
fightback led by winger Akuila Uate,
who touched down twice.
e test captain scooted out of
dummy half and slipped through a gap
in the Newcastle defence to push the
lead out to eight points with a little over
10 minutes remaining.
Melbourne led 18-10 at half-time,
with both sides heading into the break
looking shocked following a neck injury
to Newcastle s Alex McKinnon.
e tackle was put on report by referee
Gerard Sutton while McKinnon was
taken to hospital.
e Knights, who ousted Melbourne
from the NRL finals race at the same
venue last season, started on the wrong
foot with three successive penalties.
e Storm opted to take two points
from the third through Smith but the
visitors made them pay soon after when
a Michael Dobson grubber kick hit the
upright and was scooped up by Jeremy
Melbourne lifted a gear and with
winger Sisa Waqa, forward Kevin
Proctor and centre Will Chambers
chiming in with tries, they had all
the momentum. Kurt Gidley added a
second successful penalty kick following
the McKinnon incident which kept his
team in the hunt.
Victorian-raised winger Young
Tonumaipea scored his first NRL try
in the 44th minute and it looked like
Melbourne would run away with it until
Uate got into the action.
Newcastle continued to look
dangerous with the ball but could not
find the extra points they needed and
remain winless for the season.
Knights coach Wayne Bennett
said while the players did well to put
McKinnon s injury out of their minds
for the second half, it was the first
question many asked as they entered
the changing room post game.
his players "beat
needed to play
" e penalties
are just ridiculous,"
multiple repeat sets
on their tryline. ey
defended great but at
the end of the day it s
a quality footy team
they re playing and
we re not going to
hold them out long
enough. It was just too
much to absorb in the
Storm coach Craig
Bellamy said his side
was slowly putting
together an 80 minute
"I thought we were better for longer
periods of the game," he said. "We ve
still got some improvement in us but I
thought it was a pretty good effort."
Bellamy said he did not get a close
look at the McKinnon tackle and was
only concerned that the young Knight
was okay, rather than any penalties his
players may face. "No-one likes to see
anyone get injured and carried off like
that so we just hope that Alex is okay."
of the New Zealand Herald
As far as first games back go,
former Silver Fern Anna Harrison
picked a doozy.
e rangy defender helped
inspire the Northern Mystics to a
thrilling extra-time 71-68 victory
over the reigning premiers the
Adelaide underbirds at Trusts
Stadium in Henderson last night
to revive the Auckland side s
season just as the death knell was
After missing the opening three
rounds with a foot injury, Harrison
made her belated return to the
ANZ Championship last night,
playing her first match since July
Starting at goal keep, Harrison
brought a renewed energy to the
Mystics defensive end, pulling
off several unassisted blocks ---
including two in the opening
quarter --- and generally getting
into the heads of the shooters as
they lined up their shots.
It was a bold call by Mystics
coach Debbie Fuller to shift
Harrison to wing defence deep
into the extra time proceedings
and bring on 19-year-old defender
Temalisi Fakahokotau at goal keep
that proved the decisive move.
Fakahokotau pulled off a
couple of big steals in the final
few minutes, while Harrison s
long limbs wreaked havoc in the
"I wasn t quite expecting the first
game to go into overtime, but it
was definitely a good test for the
body," Harrison said.
"We made life tough on ourselves
at times, but we never gave up and
I think that was a big shift for us,
because in the past I think we may
have given up and let it slip away."
e 71-68 win completed a
clean-sweep for New Zealand
teams in the trans-Tasman clashes
over the weekend, after the Steel
and Magic recorded upsets over
the Fever and Vixens respectively.
It was their own pride, rather
than national pride, on the line
for the Mystics last night. Winless
over the opening
three rounds of the
questions were beginning
to be asked of the game
plan of the star-studded
Last night s win proved
they may just be top-
four contenders yet, but
having put themselves
under huge pressure,
it will take more gutsy
displays like that seen
against the underbirds
to get there.
e home side found
themselves six goals
down in the third spell, but clawed
their way back through committed
defence and a confident shooting
display from Cathrine Latu and
Maria Tutaia to be within one
point heading into the final period.
A tense and exciting final quarter
was marred by what looked
to be a serious knee injury to
underbirds midcourter Leigh
Waddington, who was stretchered
off the court with two minutes
remaining in regular time.
It is the first time in the ANZ
Championship ambulance staff
have been called on to court to
assist with an injured player.
Perhaps shaken by the incident,
the underbirds relinquished a
two-goal advantage in the last two
minutes, the Mystics seizing on
their indecision on attack to take a
56-55 lead with 10 seconds left on
e underbirds were lucky to
be given an opportunity to level
through a Erin Bell long shot after
time had run up on the clock and
sent the match into overtime.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
underbirds 4 3 1 218 212 6
e fledgling Greymouth
dragon boating team claimed two
gold medals and a silver at the
South Island Championships, in
Ashburton at the weekend.
e medals give the team the
500m and 200m South Island titles,
putting them in a good position for
their next event this weekend, the
New Zealand Championships, also
In the 500m, the prestige event of
the day, the Greymouth paddlers
registered good times in the heats,
which led to the most exciting finish
of the day s competition in the final
against Hillmorton, winning by
1000th of a second. As the boats
crossed the finish line they both
registered the same times and when
the photo finish was checked the
Greymouth team was a dragon s
breath in front.
e team is made up of paddlers
from Greymouth High School and
John Paul II High School, along
with a couple of primary school
eir success follows a winning
performance at the recent Aoraki
Dragon Boat Club Championships.
e Greymouth team has only
been practising for a couple of
months and already is giving more
experienced teams a run for their
At the prizegiving all credit was
given to the Greymouth crew, as
they have an old wooden boat
to train in compared to the new
fibreglass boats used by other crews.
Mystics pull off
upset of season
in extra time
New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko has fallen
short of claiming her maiden win on the
LPGA Tour, finishing one stroke behind
Karrie Webb at the JTBC Founders Cup in
Ko held a three-stroke advantage early in
her final round before giving up the lead to
a surging Webb. Webb finished at 19-under
following a final round eight-under 63.
Ko missed a number of birdie chances
on the final three holes, which would have
forced a play-off. Instead she had to settle
for a five-way tie for second at 18-under
following a two-under 70 in her final
e second placing sees Ko move from
ninth to five in the season points standings.
Earlier, Ko began the final round with a
one-stroke lead and got off to a hot start
on the front nine as she made four-straight
birdies after she parred the opening hole.
Bogeys at the sixth and ninth stunted
her momentum though and she eventually
made the turn at 18-under as she held a
share of first place before three-putting at
the par-five 11th to drop another shot.
Ko cut the margin back to one shot with
a birdie on the par-five 15th. She missed
birdie putts at 16 and 17 before a 24-footer
to force a play-off on the 18th just fell
In her first full year on tour as a
professional, Ko is yet to finish outside of
the top 20.
Meanwhile, New Zealand golfers Danny
Lee and Tim Wilkinson finished in a share
of 31st and 72nd-equal respectively at the
Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA
Tour in Florida yesterday.
Lee closed the tournament, which was
won by American Matt Every at -13, with a
two-under 70 to finish at two-under, while
Wilkinson signed for a one-over 73 in his
final round as he finished at seven-over.
One the second-tier Web.com Tour,
Hamilton s Steven Alker closed the Panama
Claro Championship with a two-under 68
to finish in a tie for 20th at two-under for
Mexican Carlos Ortiz won the event at
the Panama Golf Club with a final round of
64 to finish at 12-under, four strokes ahead
of American Jason Gore. --- APNZ
Tiger Woods is still
no closer to knowing
whether he will be able
to play in next month s
Masters as he struggles
with back pain.
e world No 1
withdrew from last
week s Arnold Palmer
Invitational in Florida
because of his aching
back and remains unsure
if he will be fit for this
year s first major, starting
April 10 at Augusta
"For Augusta, it s
actually a little too
soon to be honest with
you," he told reporters
yesterday at a sponsorship
announcement for the
AT and T National.
Woods has been
plagued by back problems
since last year but his
condition worsened over
the past month.
American failed to finish
the Honda Classic at
Palm Beach Gardens
earlier this month,
quitting after 13 holes
in his final round. en
he tweaked his back
again on the last day
at the WGC-Cadillac
Championship in Miami
a week later, tumbling
out of contention with a
final-round 78 to finish
tied for 25th.
He then pulled out
of the Arnold Palmer
Invitational, a tournament
he has won eight times,
including 2012 and 2013,
in the hope that he could
play at the Masters but
is no closer to knowing
whether he will make it
to the first tee.
" at s kind of the
frustrating thing about
this," he said. "I ve had a
couple weeks off getting
treatment, just working
on trying to get ready for
Augusta. As of right now,
it s still too soon. As I
said, it s very frustrating."
has missed two British
Opens, one US Open and
one PGA Championship
since 2008, he has never
missed the Masters since
he made his debut at
Augusta National as an
amateur in 1995.
He has won the
tournament four times,
in 1997, 2001, 2002 and
2005, but has not won
any major since 2008.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Knights Alex McKinnon lies on the ground after being tackled in last night s match with the
Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park.
Coast dragon boaters strike gold
e Greymouth dragon boating
team celebrate with their medals.
Relieved Anna Harrison at full time.
Mystics shooters Maria Tutaia and Cathrine Latu celebrate their win.
Ko falls one short at Phoenix
Dale Steyn produced a gem
of fast bowling to help South
Africa secure a two-run win
over New Zealand overnight in
the World Twenty20.
Steyn returned with figures of
4-17 as South Africa restricted
New Zealand to 168-8 after
they scored 170-6.
Needing seven runs to win in
the last over, New Zealand could
score only four against Steyn.
"He proved today why he has
been the world s best bowler for
such a long period team, South
Africa captain Faf Du Plessis
"I thought new Zealand got
themselves in a position where
they should have won the game
and something special was
required for us to try and get
Generating pace and an
accurate line and length, Steyn
confounded the New Zealand
batsmen in the last over. He
started with the wicket of Luke
Ronchi, who played in cross bat
as wicket-keeper Quinton de
Kock dived full length to take an
Steyn s next two deliveries
were dot balls before Nathan
McCullum connected on the
He fell on the next delivery by
Steyn to leave the side requiring
three off one ball.
Ross Taylor negotiated the
last delivery but the pitched-up
delivery confused him. He ran
for a run but Steyn calmly took
off the bail to trap Taylor run
"If Dale and the other bowlers
didn t produce something in
the last two, three overs, could
have gone the other way, South
Africa batsman JP Duminy said.
Taylor made New Zealand
the favourite to win the match
until Steyn produced the last
over magic. He scored 62 off 37,
including four fours and three
sixes. Kane Williamson made
Imran Tahir finished 2-27 for
Earlier, Duminy hit 86 not
out for South Africa to lay a
platform for its first victory in
the tournament. Hashim Amal
Duminy s defining innings
helped the side to recover from
a relatively shaky start as New
Zealand bowled brilliantly.
Duminy struck 10 fours and
three sixes off 43 balls. His
aggressive batting in the last five
overs enabled South Africa to
score 70 runs, 51 of which were
New Zealand bowlers made
early inroads with Kyle Mills
taking out De Kock on 4. Tim
Southee removed Du Plessis
(13), while Nathan McCullum
spun one viciously past AB de
Villiers to dismiss him on 5,
making South Africa 42-3.
Amal and Duminy revived the
innings with a partnership of
55 until Amal slashed one back
toward the bowler powerfully
but it hit non-striker Duminy s
bat and Corey Anderson took a
simple return catch to remove
Amal made 41 off 40,
including two fours. Albie
Morkel scored 13 each.
Anderson and Southee claimed
two wickets apiece.
--- New Zealand Herald
NZ crumbles at hands of Steyn
PICTURE: Getty Images
South Africa s Dale Steyn
celebrates running out Black
Cap Ross Taylor today to win
the ICC World Twenty20
Bangladesh 2014 Group 1
match at the Zahur Ahmed
Newcastle utility for ward
Alex McKinnon has fractured
his neck and the Knights say
it will be several days at least
until the full extent of his
injury is known.
"His spinal cord is not
severed but the doctors are
unsure about the level of spinal
cord compromise," the club
said in a statement today.
"It will be a number of days
or weeks until the extent of his
injury is known."
e club said the 22-year-old
has a fracture at the C4 and
McKinnon was stretchered
from the field in a neck brace
after landing on his head in an
awkward tackle by Melbourne
forwards Jesse Bromwich, his
brother Kenny and Jordan
e tackle, which happened
30 seconds from half-time of
Monday s NRL clash, was put
on report by referee Gerard
e Storm were also
penalised, with Kurt Gidley
closing the margin to 18-10
with a penalty goal.
e Knights said McKinnon s
family are with him along with
club doctor Peter McGeoch.
McKinnon s neck fractured
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