Home' Greymouth Star : April 14th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
After struggling to get their attack going
this season, the points came in an avalanche
for the Crusaders yesterday morning
against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, 52-31,
the bonus point victory inspired by Colin
Slade and helped by a Nemani Nadolo
It was a night of several rsts for Todd
Blackadder's men. e coach has never
presided over a cleansweep in South Africa,
but the Crusaders did it in style at Free State
Stadium after last week's win over the Lions
in Johannesburg. It was their rst win in the
city since 2007.
ey grabbed hold of the game early
through their set piece dominance and
defence, withstood a Cheetahs' comeback, and
then nished convincingly over the top.
It was a match in which Nadolo, the giant
Fijian wing, stamped his mark. He scored
three second-half tries, his rst for the
Crusaders, and looks set for a long stint in the
No 11 jersey.
It was the rst time this season that the
Crusaders have scored a bonus point for
scoring four or more tries --- they nished
with six --- and the rst time Slade has played
with such authority since his return from the
Lock Sam Whitelock was a stand-out all
over the park, anker Matt Todd excellent in
the loose and young prop Nepo Laulala, in
his rst start, a minor revelation in the front
ere were wobbles. e Cheetahs, fresh
from their stunning 43-43 draw against the
Chiefs on this ground, found their free-
running groove on the 50th minute mark
when scoring three converted tries through
Sarel Pretorius, Teboho Mohoje and Willie le
Roux in the space of nine minutes.
It was a crazy period of the match when the
Crusaders couldn't get their hands on the ball.
While the home side's attacking instincts
cannot be denied, their defence lived up to
its reputation too. With the Crusaders down
31-33, Tom Taylor, Nadolo, Slade and Nadolo
again scored the tries which took the game
away from them.
e big victory rockets the Crusaders from
13th to seventh. ey are third in the New
Zealand conference on 18 points behind
the Chiefs (24) and Highlanders (19). e
Highlanders have the bye next weekend, but
the Crusaders must travel home to face the
Chiefs in Hamilton. is win will make that
trip a lot easier.
Kieran Read, back at No 8 after his week o
with concussion, engineered Nadolo's rst try
with a typical straight run and lobbed pass
after Dagg had replied to the Cheetahs' early
try from wing Cornal Hendricks.
"We showed what we can do when we're on
attack," Read said. "We've just got to build
from here. It came down to moments of
brilliance from a few guys."
Todd showed superb vision to grubber kick
from 25m out to set up Dagg's try and the
loose forward was at the forefront of the
Crusaders' response in the second half when
getting close to the line and popping up the
pass for replacement mid elder Taylor.
It was Slade, though, who really caught the
His goalkicking was excellent --- eight from
10 --- and his quick penalty tap on defence,
powerful run up the middle and wide pass
to Nadolo, blindsided the
Slade's pace was to the fore
again on the right-hand side
when he picked up a loose ball
and ran over untouched.
Nadolo's third try came
in the nal minute as the
Cheetahs chased a second
bonus point. Picking up
a loose ball, the big wing
shrugged o a defender and
went over from 50m out.
Blackadder had promised a
new, free-running style, but no
one expected this.
Crusaders 52 (Nemani
Nadolo 3, Israel Dagg,
Tom Taylor, Colin Slade
tries; Colin Slade 4 pens,
4 cons, Tyler Bleyendaal
con), Cheetahs 31 (Cornal
Hendricks, Sarel Pretorius,
Teboho Mohoje, Willie
le Roux tries; Elgar Watts 4 cons, pen)
Other results.--- Highlanders 27 (Gareth
Evans, Malakai Fekitoa, Lima Sopoaga tries
Sopoaga 3 cons 2 pens) beat Bulls 20 (Bjorn
Basson, Marcel van der Merwe tries Jacques-
Louis Potgieter 2 cons 2 pens); Brumbies 23
(Scott Fardy, Joe Tomane tries Nic White 2
cons 3 pens) beat Queensland Reds 20 (Ed
Quirk, Beau Robinson tries Quade Cooper
2 cons 2 pens); Chiefs 22 (Mike Fitzgerald
try Gareth Anscombe con 5 pens) beat
Melbourne Rebels 16 (Shota Horie try Jason
Woodward con 3 pens); Western Force 28
(Nick Cummins 3 tries Sias Ebersohn 2 cons
3 pens) beat NSW Waratahs 16 (Kurtley
Beale try Bernard Foley con Beale 2, Foley
pens); Sharks 25 (Lwazi Mvovo try Francois
Steyn con Steyn 4, Fred Zeilinga 2 pens) beat
Lions 12 (Marnitz Bosho 4 pens) at Ellis
Monday, April 14, 2014 - 9
e overworked West Coast
Rugby Referees Association has
made the call for new blood.
With just three senior referees
on the books --- Jamie McGeady,
Robin Maitland and Mark
Cowlin --- the association has the
bare minimum to cover the three
senior games scheduled
for each weekend, with the
respective teams supplying the
McGeady said the job was not
just the preserve of former players,
All queries, from men and
women, would be warmly
New Zealand Rugby
League returns to the
grassroots of the code
when its chief executive
o cer Phil Holden
presents the 2014-17
NZRL strategic plan
at Wingham Park,
e West Coast league
has requested that all
clubs be well represented
at the meeting, starting at
e Warriors did not handle
the events of the past seven days
particularly well as an organisation
and it was execution which let the
team down as well in an agonising
21-20 defeat to the Bulldogs
e Bulldogs snatched a dramatic,
late win when halfback Trent
Hodkinson landed a eld goal with
less than two minutes on the clock.
It was the rst time the visitors
enjoyed a lead throughout the match
but it mattered little to them because
it was the most important time.
e Warriors had chances to win
the match, and omas Leuluai
sliced a eld goal attempt before
Hodkinson landed his, but it was
silly errors which hurt them the
Sam Tomkins' slip over the sideline
as he retrieved a grubber and Manu
Vatuvei's costly spill of a bomb
when under no pressure were the
most obvious but there were plenty
more. Players lost the ball in the
tackle, others kicked early in the
tackle count when hot on attack
and some gave away soft penalties at
ey made 15 errors in all --- the
Bulldogs made eight --- and nished
with a completion rate of just 65%.
e Bulldogs completed 80% of
"I think the players threw
everything they could at it but,
ultimately, we let ourselves down
in our execution," interim coach
Andrew McFadden said. "We only
had to make one less mistake and we
probably would have got there."
ey nearly got there because of
their e ort and application, and that
must be the minimum standard each
ey have done it three times this
season, for two wins and a narrow
defeat, but the three dreadful losses
cost Matt Elliott his job and the club
some of their credibility for the way
some involved handled the week.
e Warriors looked sharp in the
rst 30 minutes of the match.
ere was plenty of intent in what
they did, especially on defence,
and they jumped out to a 10-0
lead through tries to Tomkins and
Both came after terri c o oads
from Ben Matulino, who started in
the second-row in the absence of
Jayson Bukuya, and he seemed to
enjoy the greater space and freedom
to get his hands clear.
He missed the entire second half,
however, with a painful rib cartilage
injury and they also lost back-rower
Sebastine Ikahihifo (concussion)
meaning they had to play more
than half a game with only two
interchange for wards.
It contributed to the Warriors'
raggedness and Saliva Havili,
normally a hooker, made his NRL
debut playing in the back-row.
e e ort will have pleased most
fans and it was a good response
after such a di cult week but the
Bulldogs, who have now won three
in a row, were just a little more
"I have a pretty clear thought in
my head around where we need to
go," McFadden said.
" is week was just one step in that
direction. Although the result is very
disappointing, there were certainly a
lot of things in that game you have
to like. It's just a start for us."
ey face a sti challenge again
on Saturday when they travel to
take on the Dragons, a team they
have historically struggled the most
It is bound to be a lot more settled
week than the last seven days and
that can only be a good thing.
Warriors 20 (Sam Tomkins, Manu
Vatuvei, Konrad Hurrell, Simon
Mannering tries; Shaun Johnson 2
gls) Bulldogs 21 (Sam Perrett, Tony
Williams, Tim Lafai tries; Trent
Hodkinson 4 gls, fg). HT: 10-6.
Piri Weepu is back training at the Blues
after his stroke and heart operation, and
is set to be available to play the Waratahs
at Eden Park next week, a recovery that
coach John Kirwan has described as
Weepu worked out alongside his team-
mates yesterday, several of whom are t
again after injury and will be available
to play the Hurricanes in Wellington on
Keven Mealamu, Patrick Tuipulotu,
Peter Saili, Tom Donnelly, Jamison
Gibson-Park and Jackson Willison will
get the green light providing they come
through next couple of days without
further problems. Loose forward Kane
Barrett, recovering from concussion, is
believed to be still a week away.
None of those players have shown
the resilience that halfback Weepu has,
though. His stroke, which the club's
medical sta believe he su ered at the
start of last month, wasn't diagnosed
until after he played three matches ---
two in South Africa and one at Eden
Park. He was then diagnosed with a hole
in his heart for which he had surgery just
over a week ago, and now is preparing
to play again, a state of a airs which has
Kir wan shaking his head.
"It is an unbelievable recovery," Kirwan,
who admitted to being surprised at the
speed of the comeback, said. "It gives
the players a lift but it gives him a lift
Kirwan added of the 30-year-old
former All Black: "He's been absolutely
fantastic and a joy to have in the team.
He contributes as much o the eld
as he does on it. We have missed his
experience at times but he has been
working hard with Bryn (Hall) and now
Weepu's neurologist and cardiologist
made the decision to allow Weepu to
train with a view to playing a week on
Friday. A Blues statement yesterday said
he had made a full recovery.
e news is said to be not as good for
rst- ve Baden Kerr, who is set to miss
the season without playing a match.
After cracking a thumb in a pre-season
hit-out he broke a couple of ngers in
a club game. e Counties-Manukau
player, a standout in the province's
Ranfurly Shield exploits last year, has
had an operation and is understood to
be facing a long lay-o .
Kirwan, who has Simon Hickey and
Chris Noakes as his rst- ve options,
with Benji Marshall as a back-up, has
big decisions to make this week as to
his inside-back combination to face the
Hurricanes, a team running into some
form, but, like the Blues, cursed by a
Hickey was targeted by the Brumbies
in the 26-9 defeat in Canberra which
turned into a painful learning experience
for the 20-year-old. e Blues' bye has
given him time to think things through
but Kir wan could go for the more
experienced Noakes to lead the team
around the Cake Tin.
Kirwan acknowledged the importance
of the match against the Hurricanes,
who are also coming o a bye and will
be preparing for their rst match since
being told coach Mark Hammett will be
leaving at the end of the year.
"We know what we're going to get
--- they will throw everything at us,"
Kirwan said. "It's a big challenge for
both franchises. Everyone is still in the
race. People say they are inconsistent
but you can probably describe us as that
too. We are two very similar teams at the
moment." --- APNZ
Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-2
in a dramatic and emotionally-charged
game at An eld today to move within
touching distance of the Premier League
Demba Ba's goal earned Chelsea a
1-0 win at 10-man Swansea City and
kept them two points behind leaders
Liverpool with four matches left in the
Chelsea visit Liverpool in a potential
title decider on April 27 when victory for
Jose Mourinho's team could let in City,
who trail the Merseyside club by seven
points but have two games in hand.
Emotions were running high all day at
An eld as the club commemorated 25
years since the Hillsborough disaster in
which 96 of their supporters died at an
FA Cup semi- nal.
ere was a minute's silence before
kick-o and captain Steven Gerrard,
whose 10 year-old cousin was one of
those killed, nished the afternoon in
tears before gathering his team in a
Gerrard refused to talk up the possibility
of Liverpool's rst title since 1990 after
leading his side to a 10th successive
" at win means so much, that is such
a big result for us," he told Sky Sports.
"But nothing is ours yet. e important
thing now is not to get carried away with
Manager Brendan Rodgers, who has
revitalised the team in two seasons
since taking over, hailed "a remarkable
"I thought we were incredible today,"
he said. "We showed so much spirit and
quality. We have been put under pressure
in a very big game but you can see from
the quality of our football that we are
coping with it."
British bookmakers reacted to the
victory by installing Liverpool as title
favourites. "Today is an historic day as
Liverpool have never been favourites
to win the Premier League title since
its formation over 20 years ago," a
spokesman for William Hill said.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini,
however, believes his team still have
everything to play for. "If we win our two
games in hand we will be a point behind
Liverpool, who still have to play Chelsea.
e title does not nish today," he said.
City felt they should have had a late
penalty for a handling o ence by Martin
Skrtel, but they paid for a poor rst half-
hour in which they fell behind to goals
by Raheem Sterling, the 19-year-old
who hopes to win a place in England's
World Cup squad, and Skrtel. Spanish
international David Silva led a City
revival by scoring in the 56th minute and
forcing an own goal from Glen Johnson
ve minutes later.
But 12 minutes from the end a mis-kick
by City captain Vincent Kompany gave
Philippe Countinho the opportunity to
drive in the winner.
In stoppage-time mid elder Jordan
Henderson was sent o for a lunging
tackle at Samir Nasri and he will miss
three of the last four games.
e crucial one of those looks to be the
visit of Chelsea, who laboured to beat
relegation-threatened Swansea despite
playing most of the match against 10
Chico Flores was sent o for two yellow
cards in the rst quarter of an hour, the
Spanish defender's second dismissal in
Chelsea dominated from then on but
could not break through until Ba, whose
goal knocked out Paris Saint-Germain
in a Champions League quarter- nal on
Wednesday, scored in the 67th minute.
West Coast rugby league moved back
to its traditional Sunday fare yesterday,
with the weather joining the party and
putting on the rst of the winter weather
for the players and fans alike.
While the forecast rain failed to appear,
the blustery conditions tested all teams'
ability to adjust their tactics to suit.
Cobden hosted Suburbs, the visitors
taking the wind and using it to good
e ect to establish a 28-point half-
time lead. While the wind certainly
provided an advantage, the loss at kick-
o of Blake Hodgson to a groin injury
certainly added to the challenge Cobden
had to face.
"Losing our playmaker was not the
ideal start," Cobden coach Barry Furness
said, "but that doesn't explain the lack
of defence we showed today. For some
reason we did not put the e ort into the
tackle, and the results prove it."
Suburbs are o at a sprint, and the
challenge for the coach, Brad Tacon, may
be keeping his players on task for the
year to gather up another grand nal win
with this 64-10 win.
Performances by up and coming players
will put heat on established players, and
yesterday Caleb Wooley put his hand up
with 50 hard working minutes in his best
performance for the maroons.
"It was good to see the boys work hard
into the wind, and arguably perform
better in the second half," Tacon said.
" ey are starting to run o each other
into holes, rather than over the top of
players, which is good to see."
Luke Negri and Reuben Allen dictated
tra c all day,holding the pass for the likes
of Stanton and Curtis to hit and pace,
both rewarded with three tries apiece. In
the for ward pack, Ben Campbell worked
hard for 80 minutes, while Taylor Eason
contributed his usual strong e ort and
was rewarded with two tries.
Suburbs 64 (K Curtis 3, R Stanton 3, L
Havill 2, T Eason, E Row, B Campbell,
L Collins, J Forsyth, L Negri tries, M
Sweeney 3, Stanton 2 goals).
e Brunner Bulls kicked o at the
Dobson Domain with vocal home
support hoping to put pressure on a
Runanga team elding ve debutantes,
but the experience and size of the likes
of James Ward and Royce Green proved
too much to handle at this early stage of
the season, Runanga taking an easy 34-
"It's early days for Brunner but we are
building up and hope that we continue
to see more players appearing," coach
Peter Sinnott said.
"Our tness is slowly building and we
hope to challenge a few teams as the
Brunner's Ephraim McIntyre directed
tra c well but lacked support on the
odd break up eld, while the emergence
of Jordan Foster on debut from the
under-18s shows Brunner's youth teams
continue to o er up talented footballers.
Jordan Foster, Dave Waipouri scored for
Brunner and and Jimmy Wainess added
Royce Green was again leading
Runanga's defensive line aggressively,
while the return of Rene Matthews was
a boost, helping direct play.
"We have some new players arriving
each week," coach James Ward said.
"Hopefully, we can stay injury-free and
build up the playing stocks to give some
of our older soldiers the retirement they
Big changes have paid o for the Perth
Wildcats, who are celebrating a record
sixth NBL championship following
yesterday's crushing 93-59 grand nal
victory over the Adelaide 36ers at Perth
Having lost the previous two grand
nals and a semi- nal series to the New
Zealand Breakers, the Wildcats bit the
bullet and replaced coach Rob Beveridge
with Trevor Gleeson, and signed star
imports James Ennis and Jermaine Beal.
e Wildcats set up the minor
premiership by winning 12 of their
rst 13 games, but the pressure was on
coming into the deciding game three of
the grand nal series.
e Wildcats dominated, leading at
one stage by 36 points before winning
by 33. Ennis claimed the headlines all
season, but Beal was named MVP of
the grand nal series, nishing with 15
points and four rebounds in the decider.
Shawn Redhage added 16 points
for the Wildcats while championship
skipper Damian Martin had 14 points,
six rebounds and outstanding defence
on Gary Er vin. Anthony Petrie was the
workhorse for Adelaide, with 20 points
and four rebounds.
It is Perth's sixth title, putting
them two ahead of Adelaide and the
Melbourne Tigers. Shawn Redhage,
Damian Martin and Jesse Wagsta are
the survivors from the last win in 2010.
Gleeson never felt the pressure and
just wanted to reward the Wildcats for
the chance they gave him after stints as
coach of Townsville and Melbourne.
Suburbs sprint away from Cobden
Nadolo hat-trick lights fire for Crusaders
'unbelievable' --- Kir wan
PICTURE: Getty Images
Bulldogs Trent Hodkinson celebrates his drop goal with team-mates
yesterday at Eden Park, Auckland.
Call for more rugby refs on Coast
Liverpool closes in on title shot
Perth Wildcats win sixth NBL championship title
Interim Cronulla coach Peter Sharp
slammed his NRL side as embarrassing as
their Brookvale Oval hoodoo continued in
emphatic fashion yesterday.
e Sharks were hammered 24-4 by Manly,
who were rampant in the rst half before
fading in the second. e Sea Eagles led
20-0 after 33 minutes and when a Peta Hiku
try extended that lead to 24-0 in the 54th
minute, the game was all but over.
e Sharks have enjoyed success at
Brookvale just ve times in 37 matches.
After the Sharks notched their rst win of
the season over the Warriors last weekend,
their performance was a big step back and
Sharp did not hold back in his appraisal.
"It was terribly disappointing," the former
Manly coach said. "It was an important game
for us in the bigger picture against a quality
side away from home, something I was really
looking for ward to.
"We were miles away in terms of energy
levels. It was embarrassing, really, really
Jorge Taufua tore the Sharks apart early in
his rst game of the season after recovering
from a shoulder injury. He put on the nal
pass for Steve Matai's opening try in the
third minute and scored one himself in the
In between, Brenton Lawrence crossed o a
looping pass from Brett Stewart in the 15th
minute, the superstar fullback earning three
try assists for the afternoon. Matai earned his
double in the 33rd minute, his fourth of 2014.
e Sharks nally got on the scoreboard in
the 80th minute through stand-in skipper
Wade Graham when Hiku failed to di use a
Je Robson bomb.
Manly coach Geo Toovey said he was
pleased with his side's response to their
34-18 defeat to Wests Tiger last week. "It
was a really good turnaround defensively on
our energy this week, particularly in the rst
half," Toovey said.
Other results.--- South Sydney 18, Penrith
2; Gold Coast 12, Brisbane 8; Newcastle 26,
Canberra 12; Parramatta 14, Sydney Roosters
12; Wests Tigers 16, North Queensland 4.
Manly embarrasses Sharks
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