Home' Greymouth Star : April 24th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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ursday, April 24, 2014
Rap music lls the room as Joseph Parker
dances to the beat to warm up for his morning
Decked out in red and black colour co-
ordinated training gear, he went for a run
Parker's trainer Kevin Barry watches his
charge throw shadow combinations, jab-jab,
en it is time for the veteran coach to
impart some knowledge.
Parker has had an opponent change for this
weekend's bout on the undercard of Wladimir
Klitschko's world heavyweight title defence
against Australian Alex Leapai in Germany.
e stocky Sherman Williams has pulled
out and 1.96m Brazilian Marcelo Luiz
Nascimento (17-5) has agreed to step in the
ring with Parker.
Parker's perfect 7-0 record will be on the
line and the ght plan will change against a
Barry talks Parker through a couple of
new combinations that will help the South
Aucklander hatch a plan to produce a victory
on Sunday morning.
Nascimento presents a 16cm height
di erence to Williams and is also 4cms taller
Parker's camp know the Brazilian loves to
come out swinging in the early rounds so
they will need to weather a storm in the rst
couple of frames.
From there Nascimento ghts with his chin
on display, which is not a smart option, and
Barry tells Parker they can knock the 33-year-
'Mo Money Mo Problems' blares from
Parker's iPod, which has been placed in
portable speakers, after he opened the session
to Sean Kingston's 'Letting go (Dutty Love)'.
Barry has donned the pads now, with a body
protector to absorb the shots Parker delivers
to the mid-section.
Parker's jabs move like lightning, while you
can see the improved power in his hands as
Barry tells the 22-year-old to work the solar
plexus as it will bring the big man down to
Five three-minute rounds of pad work have
been completed, with Kevin's brother and
Parker's cornerman Bryan Barry providing
water for the pugilist after each bell.
All of this has taken place in a small
conference room at their Essen hotel.
It does not seem like a place where New
Zealand's next great hope of heavyweight
boxing would complete his training leading
up to his rst major ght on the international
Team Parker had to move some of the tables
and chairs just to give them enough room to
work the pads, while a sta member from
the hotel came in to x the lights when the
switches seemed hidden.
But in the nal week before a ght, such
spaces are a hidden sanctuary for the team.
"We use one of these rooms for our nishing
touches," Kevin Barry said.
"We don't need to be in a ring. We don't
need to be in a boxing gym. We don't need
tohave1000eyes on us.Weliketobein a
nice, calm environment where there's just us
and that works for Joe and that works for me."
From an audience of three NZ journalists,
it's a world away from entering the Konig
Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen this weekend
when 12,000 people will be watching.
Few can deliver home truths
like Piri Weepu, and the
halfback, available again for the
Blues after his health issues,
admitted yesterday that the
Benji Marshall saga has been
a distraction for the team, but
that he would be missed.
"Yes, it has been a bit of
a distraction, but that's just
something that we'll work on as
a team ... It's tough when you
(have) one of your mates go like
that but we've just got to pull
together and stay tight," Weepu
Asked if he would miss
Marshall, a high-pro le league
convert who is quitting after
only half a season, Weepu said:
"He's been awesome, he's been
great to have around the team
and it's probably going to be
sad to not have his cheeky
comments on the eld and in
and out of the workplace."
Weepu has been named on the
reserves bench for tomorrow 's
match against the Waratahs
at Eden Park after recovering
from his health issues. He
recently had minor surgery to
x a hole in his heart which
is believed to have caused his
stroke at the start of last month.
"I don't know how the tness
is, we'll see when I'm running
around with the boys," he said.
"But I've been chipping way
at it for the last two weeks or
week and a half and I'm feeling
pretty good actually."
Weepu on Sunday red both
barrels at a Blues side which
let it slip too easily against
the Hurricanes in Wellington.
Yesterday he stood by his
comments --- he e ectively said
some of his team-mates were
not trying hard enough --- but
was unwilling to elaborate.
e Blues will welcome
his harder edge against the
Waratahs, even it is as an
extra motivation following his
o - eld challenges.
Coach John Kirwan wants
more physicality in his pack
and has dropped All Black
Steven Luatua in favour of
Peter Saili. Ma'a Nonu will
bring more of a presence to the
mid eld too after recovering
from the calf injury which ruled
him out of the Hurricanes
Waratahs coach Michael
Cheika has named an
unchanged line-up after his
team's victory over the Bulls in
Blues: Charles Piutau, Frank
Halai, Francis Saili, Ma'a Nonu,
Lolagi Visinia, Simon Hickey,
Bryn Hall, Peter Saili, Luke
Braid (c), Jerome Kaino, Tom
Donnelly, Patrick Tuipulotu,
Charlie Faumuina, Keven
Mealamu, Tony Woodcock.
Reser ves: James Parsons, Sam
Prattley, Angus Ta'avao, Hayden
Triggs, Piri Weepu, Steven
Luatua, Ihaia West, Pita Ahki.
Waratahs: Israel Folau, Cam
Crawford, Adam Ashley-
Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Rob
Horne, Bernard Foley, Nick
Phipps, Dave Dennis (c),
Michael Hooper, Jacques
Potgeiter, Kane Douglas, Will
Skelton, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu
Polata Nau, Benn Robinson.
Reser ves (one to be omitted):
Tolu Latu, Jeremy Tilse, Paddy
Ryan, Pat McCutcheon, Wycli
Palu, Brendan McKibbin, Jono
Lance, Matt Carraro, Stephen
161 Tainui St
DAY & DATE MATCH
WEEK Ten Fri 25 April
Blues v Waratahs
Eden Park, Auckland
Fri 25 April
Brumbies v Chiefs
Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Sat 26 April
Sharks v Highlanders
Kings Park, Durban
Sat 26 April
Hurricanes v Reds
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Sat 26 April
Force v Bulls
NIB Stadium, Perth
Sun 27 April
Cheetahs v Stormers
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 3.05am
BYE: Crusaders, Lions, Rebels
& O set
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Almost 200 of New Zealand's nest
young motorcyclists, plus some from
Australia, will contest the 2014 Back ip
KTM event, at Waipuna Station this
Starting at 9am tomorrow and concluding
on Sunday, the New Zealand Junior
Championship is open to riders aged
between eight and 16 years.
Some of the West Coasters expected to
get among the medals are Mac Williams,
Michell Smith, Sarah O'Connor, Clark
Fountain and Tryton Bachelor, Jayni-Rose
Batchelor, Reece McBride, Sam Robinson
and Bailey Banks.
Organisers say the venue lends itself
to family picnics and spectators will be
Hookers are usually a gnarly benchmark
for Super Rugby sides.
Some of the younger brigade have not
collected the creased faces or dis gured
ears which often signify combat in the
scrummaging trenches and close-quarter
ey may fancy they can dance a wider
track too in ball-carrying raids on lighter
backs. However, coaches everywhere are
looking for men who can perform their core
It may be unglamorous work but without
accurate lineout throwing, hearty scrums
and metre-seeking drives, Super 15 teams
e Chiefs' Mahonri Schwalger and
Stephen Moore at the Brumbies are hookers
who have seen it all in their careers and are
still nding new levels of performance.
ere has been some rust in the Chiefs'
setpiece performance this season and knee
and eye injuries have taken Schwalger out of
a number of contests.
However, the 35-year-old has been
reinstated for tomorrow's match in Canberra
where the Chiefs will be the latest side to try
to counter the Brumbies' game plan which is
based on kicking and territory.
ey rely on their accuracy at the lineout,
scrum, ruck and maul to give them the
platforms for a troop of kickers to move
them deep into opposition territory.
Fullback Jesse Mogg kicks vast distances
with his left peg, Nick White equally o his
right foot while Matt Toomua and Christian
Lealiifano bring a greater variety with their
Moore has played 91 tests and seen action
in more than 120 Super rugby matches,
where his lineout throwing and bustling
play leads the Brumbies' energy.
e Brumbies have the best lineout
numbers in the series --- they win 94% of
their throws where captain Ben Mowen is
often a target --- while the Chiefs are the
worst with 74% success.
ey have not got into a decent routine
and have struggled when they use targets
other than the remarkable Brodie Retallick.
Schwalger does not have the international
clout of his rival but he has played 42 tests
for Samoa, captained them through their
last World Cup campaign and has played for
a variety of teams round the globe.
He brings the inty edge the Chiefs need
as a foundation for plans to build on their
spirit and commitment to reverse their
recent run of results.
Both sides lead their conference although
the Chiefs have not been able to nd as
much sting since Aaron Cruden was injured.
eir coaches will have been planning on
ways to use the possession the Brumbies will
kick their way. --- NZ Herald
Parker changes fight plan
to counter tall Brazilian
'Benji saga distraction
but he'll be missed'
Benji Marshall and Piri Weepu
Hookers in showdown
Waipuna to host top young motorcyclists
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