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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Women's rugby league is
about to make a comeback on
the West Coast, with hopes of
rekindling the heyday of the
1990s, but in the lower grades.
has a full complement of
players in training.
Manager Lynne Rodrigue
hopes other clubs on the
West Coast will get behind
the prospective girls'
"Girls can't play in the
competitions at present after
12 years, and yet so many love
the sport," Rodrigue said.
" e grade is for girls
under-16 years old and at
present we have 20 turning
up for training twice a week.
ey are all really keen to
play and took part in the
recent nines competition at
" e Marist club is looking
hoping all clubs will get
"When I was playing
women's league here on the
West Coast we had ve teams
in the competition," Rodrigue
PICTURE: Taine Menzies
Lisa Tau, right, tackles Sarah Lunn closely followed by
Grace Besant at the recent West Coast Rugby League Nines
competition, at Wingham Park.
Girls' league rebounds
Joseph Parker cuts
a relaxed gure as he
laughs during a game
of euchre with his
cornermen in the lobby
of a German hotel.
e New Zealand
has a right to show
some ner ves this week
as he nears the next step
in his boxing education
but he does not seem
to possess them as the
cards are shu ed and
Parker was set to
meet the 1.80m
Sherman Williams on the
undercard of Wladimir Klitschko's
world heavyweight title defence
against Australian Alex Leapai
in Oberhausen, but a contractual
dispute has seen the Bahamian
veteran pull out, leaving Brazilian
Marcelo Luiz Nascimento to step
in.Few things seem to worry Parker
and despite the change of opponent
he remains con dent the hard work
was done long ago as he looks to
"I'm relaxed because I know I've
put in the work with the camp that
we've had," Parker said.
"If I didn't put in the work you'd
feel a bit nervous coming in towards
the ght week because we know we
haven't done the work. But I know
that I've put everything in in the
gym and know when it comes to
ght night I want to show everyone
what I've been training so hard for."
Nascimento has to be commended
for taking the ght with a week's
notice and the 33-year-old
(17-5) does represent the tallest man
Parker has ever climbed in the ring
with at 1.96m.
"It is quite di erent ghting
someone taller than me when I'm
used to ghting people who are a lot
shorter," Parker said. "So it is going
to be a challenge in that sense."
Standing taller than 1.90m is the
norm for most heavyweights in the
modern era and champion Klitschko
is a towering 1.98m, while there's a
collection of others who irt with
Nascimento will not have the
quickness of the 1.92m
South Aucklander, while
Parker's camp insist his
power has increased
since he knocked out Afa
Tatupu in Auckland in
Going by the size of
his tree trunk legs there's
evidence to suggest he
has the base to work
from to hit harder than
Parker (7-0) has sparred
with Canadian Bermane
Stiverne during the
lead-up to this week's
ght and Stivern will
meet Chris Arreola for
the vacant WBC world
heavyweight title next
"I've been preparing myself as best
I can and now I'm ready for anyone
they put me in the ring with,"
e man who has the ner ves this
week is trainer Kevin Barry. "It's a
big change and it's a change that
for me, as the coach, I'm really
concerned about," Barry said of
the opponent switch. "We've spent
the last two months training for
Sherman ' e Tank' Williams ...
I just said: 'Nothing changes'. We
know we are ghting on the 27th of
April. Everything we've done in the
last 12 weeks has been geared up to
Joseph performing on the 27th of
For the record, Barry won the
game of euchre. --- APNZ
e Warriors have made three changes
for Friday's match against the Melbourne
Storm at AAMI Park.
Chad Townsend returns at stando
after playing for the club's New South
Wales Cup side the last two weeks.
He replaces omas Leuluai,
again troubled by the groin injury
which delayed his start to the 2014
In other changes,Jayson Bukuya is again
named in the second row; he was also
named against Canterbury-Bankstown
and St George Illawarra before being
ruled out due with a foot injury.
e third change sees Feleti Mateo
added to the interchange after spending
the last two games in the New South
"We're managing omas through his
injury," Warriors head coach Andrew
"He needs time o to rest it and we
hope to have him back for our next home
game against Canberra (at Eden Park on
May 10). "It gives Chad another chance
in the NRL. It was di cult leaving him
out a couple of weeks ago but he has
maintained his form in the New South
McFadden said he was optimistic
Bukuya would return this week after
being close to playing against the
Dragons while Mateo had earned a recall
after in uential e orts for the New South
Wales Cup side against the Bulldogs and
e Warriors will have eight players
making their eighth straight outing
of the year --- Sam Tomkins, Dane
Nielsen, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira,
Nathan Friend, Jacob Lillyman, Simon
Mannering and Suaia Matagi.
Starting at loose forward again will be
Sebastine Ikahihifo, named the players'
player of the day for his performance
against the Dragons.
With Michael Moore Trophy at stake
on Friday, both teams have similar form
lines over the last month. e Warriors
have followed their 42-18 win over
Wests Tigers with three losses while the
Storm have had losses to Canterbury-
Bankstown and Gold Coast, a two-point
win over the Dragons and a two-point
loss to the Raiders on Sunday.
Warriors.--- Sam Tomkins, David
Fusitua, Dane Nielsen, Ngani Laumape,
Manu Vatuvei, Chad Townsend,
Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Nathan
Friend, Jacob Lillyman, Jayson Bukuya,
Simon Mannering (c), Sebastine
Ikahihifo. Interchange: Ben Henry, Suaia
Matagi, Siliva Havili, Feleti Mateo.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Trainer Kevin Barry talks to Joseph Parker in a bout
against Francois Botha last year.
Change not bothering Parker
ree changes to Warriors side to face Storm
Benji Marshall, the self-confessed "average
rugby player", might have to face up to the
realities of unemployment, at least in the short
e New Zealand Warriors are the latest club
to say no to Marshall after he walked out on the
Blues on Monday for an intended switch back
to the NRL. e Melbourne Storm remain a
possibility but even then money is likely to be
A move to the Auckland-based Warriors
might have been a neat t for Marshall and
wife Zoe following their move from Sydney,
but new coach Andrew McFadden shut
that particular door yesterday when telling
reporters: "He's a high quality player, but he's
probably not what we need right now.
"We've got our own things to work on and
although it's disappointing for Benji for sure,
I think he'll nd somewhere to go, but at this
stage we've got other things to focus on."
Most NRL clubs have ruled out making an
approach to Marshall, but all have the ability
to conveniently change their minds. However
it does seem that 29-year-old Marshall's
reintegration into the sport that made him rich
and famous will not be straightforward.
"I think he just needs to nd his groove again,
and rugby obviously wasn't that," McFadden
said. "If he goes back to league, I'm sure he'll
nd his form again."
e United Kingdom's Super League remains
an option, with Salford owner Marwan
Koukash making noises about signing Marshall
recently, but that was when the player's stocks
were considerably higher than they are now.
In an inter view with the Sydney Morning
Herald, Marshall said he was only an "average"
rugby union player but insisted he was better
for his failed experiment at the Blues.
e franchise must also take some share
of the blame for how the saga has played
out. ere were several odd decisions made
during Marshall's brief stay, but yesterday the
Blues insisted they could not comment for
Marshall was more forthcoming to the
Sydney newspaper. "My lack of the technical
aspects of rugby union was what was letting me
down and I felt like I was playing rugby league
on a rugby eld with 14 other rugby players,"
he said. "But I de nitely don't regret it because
I have got everything I wanted to get out of it
except the performance on the eld, which just
hasn't worked out the way I wanted it to and I
am just an average rugby player.
"I got a fresh start back in New Zealand, got
t, got the motivation, got the hunger and I
feel real good and feel fresh.
"I had a crack at it and it just didn't work out,
but honestly I haven't been this happy for a
long time and I feel like I am a better person
for being here."
He said he had watched "every game" of NRL
this season. "It might take a few weeks to get
a feel for it again but in my head I understand
the game properly which is probably the most
important thing." --- APNZ
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