Botany and Ormiston Times
Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times Thursday June 12 2014
www.times.co.nz Howick and Pakuranga Times, Thursday, June 12, 2014 — 19 126078 HOPEFULLY the All Blacks lucky late try escape in the Eden Park 20-15 first rugby test win against England will serve as a reminder to the selectors that some of their creaky veterans are showing their age. There were seven aged 30 or over in the 23-man All Blacks squad compared with England’s two, with Keven Mealamu the eld- est at 35. Having dominated the set pieces, England were gutted to lose a tight match against error ridden oppo- nents who still managed to demon- strate their character with Conrad Smith’s late try. Superbly led by flanker Chris Robshaw who completely over- shadowed Richie McCaw, they produced other heroic performers in centre Manu Tuilagi and No 8 Ben Morgan. In contrast, No 8 Jerome Kaino was the only All Black to perform to his dynamic best, although Bro- die Retallick, Sam Whitelock and Aaron and Ben Smith made worth- while contributions. That England could go so close at half strength because of the unavailability of their clubs final- ist stars suggests they will fancy their chances in the remaining two tests. Under astute coach Stuart Lan- caster, they are now prepared to play an expansive game when their burly forwards set the foundation for them to do so. Asked by an elderly former Otago University prop my thoughts on the test, I replied: “For me, Irene van Dyk’s singing of the national anthem was the highlight.” She has a lovely voice and gave it her best shot, in contrast to the All Blacks who performed it with all the tight-lipped gusto of a ven- triloquist’s dummy. South African-born Irene is my favourite adopted Kiwi who, at 41, has decided to retire from netball after playing 20 years as an out- standing international. Without her amazing goal shoot- ing accuracy, the Silver Ferns would not have enjoyed the out- standing success at world champi- onship and Commonwealth Games level they have had. Blessed with a wonderful per- sonality and sense of humour, she epitomises what sportsmanship is all about, while retaining her fierce competitive streak. We will miss her, just as we do the bubbly Temepara Bailey (nee George). It’s also sad to note that rowing’s Joseph Sullivan has also decided to retire after crowning wins at world junior and senior champi- onships, and gold medal success in the double sculls with Nathan Cohen at the London Olympics. Their storming, spine-chilling finish from fifth to first was judged the most memorable moment by a New Zealand athlete at the Games. Much smaller than their oppo- nents, little Picton’s Sullivan and Invercargill’s Cohen showed that good technique and a fighting heart can achieve the seemingly impossible. Having failed to win selection for New Zealand last year, Sullivan has come to the wise conclusion that he has passed his peak. In retirement, however, he can reflect on a job well done. That truth is also about to hit some of our veteran All Blacks who, like that old grey mare, are not what they used to be. It’s sad, but age is a cruel master which offers only reality and very little sympathy. It’s something that Steve Hansen and his fellow All Black selectors will have to come to terms with if they hope to retain their world crown next year. Loyalty to his players is one of coach Hansen’s most admirable qualities. But sometimes hard decisions have to be made, even if it means dropping players who have become friends. BACK TO BEST: After a lengthy stint playing club rugby in Japan, Jerome Kaino, 31, has returned to top form and was a standout in an ageing All Blacks side that defeated England 20-15 in the first test last Saturday. Times file photo Wayne Martin Veterans show their age Veterans show their age Agnew’s Angle CHAMPION AGAIN: Cameron Brown wins Ironman Cairns last Sunday. Photo supplied / Delly Carr Cam outruns young rivals TURNING 42 soon, Botany’s multi-sport superstar Cameron Brown became the oldest man to win an Ironman event, in last Sunday’s Cairns Airport Ironman Cairns in North Queensland. Brown, a winner of 11 Ironman races in a stellar career, is delighted. “Becoming the oldest ever winner was motivation for me out there, but I’m sure Craig Alexander or Chris McCormack will try and knock me off now. Forty is the new 30,” says Brown. The men’s race came down to a test of age and wisdom over youth, with Brown using his experience in the trying wet conditions to outlast Australians Tim van Berkel and Peter Robertson. “Tim is a great runner, so I just had to keep pushing. The crowd support is always fantastic there, it’s what gets you to the finish line,” says Brown. The race began in rain that didn’t let up. After negotiating tricky conditions in the swim, it was three-time ITU world champion Robertson who exited the water with Casey Munro, after the pair built a lead of more than two minutes. The two Aussies held their advantage on the bike until Munro suffered a puncture. Robertson was then joined at the 105km mark by van Berkel and Brown. They opened up a gap on the run, with Robertson dropping back after 12km. By the halfway mark it was Brown who started to pull away, going on to win in 8 hours, 20 minutes and 15 seconds, three minutes clear of van Berkel.
Howick and Pakuranga Times Monday June 9 2014
Howick and Pakuranga Times Monday June 16 2014