North Shore Times : November 12th 2010
15 NORTH SHORE TIMES, NOVEMBER 12, 2010 SPORT Here's hoping history doesn't repeat Well it s the end of the rugby league season tomorrow night when the Kiwis meet the Kangaroos in the Four Nations final in Brisbane. Last week s game was de ´ja ` vu for the Kiwis. I don t know if it was the hype of playing back at Eden Park or whether they just didn t get themselves up for a game where the result had no bearing on the outcome of the competition. It was 1988 World Cup all over again, when they simply didn t produce what was required to compete against the Aussies. But worst, a word about the crowd. It was a poor per- formance by them too. The booing when the Australian National anthem was being played was unacceptable as was the bottle throwing that went on later in the game. Some journalists have blamed it on league supp- orters, saying it was a typical league crowd. But it wasn t. It was a crowd at the league. I ve being going to Mt Smart to watch the Warriors since 1996 and there is never any trouble there. In fact the police presence is hardly noticeable. And you don t get those ridiculous Mexican waves at Mount Smart. That seems to be created by bored spectators and that simply isn t your typical league fan. That s created by those types who simply go because it s the place to be, have too much to drink and have low level concentration spans. They re a blight on any sporting occasion. It s that that leads to the bottle throwing. Apart from that it was a well organised event. We had no trouble getting to the venue and leaving afterwards by train. So at least that worked well. For the Kiwis, all effort went into their new haka but was lacking on the field. The Aussies made great yardage from their front rowers Scott and Shillington to lay on a great platform for their backs and the Kiwis failed to reciprocate. With plenty of possession and a poor kicking game from the Kiwis, Australia were allowed to dominate and they did. With back to back penal- ties, a kick out on the full and two tries before we got our hands back on the ball it was all over by about 25 minutes into the match when they had an 18-2 advantage. Sam Perrot on the wing made a couple of attempts to come in off his wing to spot Brett Tate and failed and that also added to the Kiwi misery when two tries resulted. This week they will be away from the hype and will have the opportunity to build for this far more important match that is likely to be played in front of a full house at Suncorp Stadium. This time the Kiwis may well be the brunt of the booing and they should soak that up and energise themselves. They will have reminded themselves that they are the world champs and taken lessons from that success and turn the table on the Aussies with firstly a commanding performance up front and then allowing Benji Marshall a bit of freedom to work his magic. Last week he showed late in the game just what he is capable of when he set up two spectacular scoring efforts. It s good to see Bronson Harrison returned to the starting line-up. It was a sur- prise to see him omitted last week. He produces the consist- ency required at the top level and his work rate along with that of Simon Mannering will be required if the Kiwis are to succeed. Greg Eastwood has been our best forward so far and he has gained a starting spot so I expect a different looking Kiwi side tomorrow and if Sam McKendry has earned himself a place on the bench I think we will have a much better show in pulling this one off. Challenges begin at Adelaide Dome Another successful weekend saw us take our tally for the season to a club record 4-0. This record marks our best- ever start to an NBL season and puts us clear at the top of the table. Although it is early days, we are in a good place right now and are certainly cherishing each victory. If there is one thing last year taught us it is just how important each game can be and in a league as closely fought as this a win on the road is even more important. It doesn t get any easier this weekend as we travel to Adelaide and Perth to take on the ''Doomsday Double -- a fitting name because this really is the toughest trip on the schedule. First up we take on Ade- laide at the Dome, one of the toughest venues to play at in the NBL. Adelaide boasts a very fast and physical team and will pose a very tough first up challenge. It s straight to Perth after that to take on the defending champs again who will be out for revenge after our last encounter at home. Probably the most vocal crowd in the league will be out in force to try and put us off our game. I have never been part of a winning team to play in Perth so we will be out to try and create a bit more history this weekend. I m looking forward to a tough weekend and the chance to catch up with NBL legend and ex-Breaker Tony Ronaldson who now lives in Perth. Hopefully we can put in a good performance to make The Bear proud. Next week we are back at home and after three games away from home it will be a welcome return, hopefully to another big and noisy crowd. If you still haven t been to one of our games, book your tickets now. Word is November 19 could be a big one, our first Friday night game for some time, so get on www.nzbreakers.co.nz and grab your ticket now. Hands on help: Valerie Adams gives Max Clarke, 7, a few shot put pointers during her visit at Vauxhall School. Photo: BEN WATSON Advice from Adams hard to beat By FELICITY REID Fifteen years ago she was ''the biggest kid at school and remembers throwing a softball 38 metres during athletics day. Since then shot put cham- pion Valerie Adams has won seven international medals, the latest a gold at Delhi. While recalling her own schoolyard heroics -- Adams was winner of the nine and 10-year-old softball throw at her Mangere primary school -- she passed on some world beating advice to Vauxhall School pupils ahead of their athletics day. ''Stay down and throw as hard and as fast as poss- ible, Adams encouraged her captive audience. Basketball -- a sport her siblings have excelled at -- could have been Adams call- ing. Instead as a towering 12-year-old she turned to athletics. ''It made me proud of my height and who I was, Adams says of shot put. As a youngster her first shot put throw went nine metres. Last month 20.47m was enough for her to cap- ture Commonwealth Games gold, but her career best throw is 21.07m. All of which makes her the perfect mentor for the eager up and comers. Silver should put women in line for funding With the success of the Black Sticks teams at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where they both brought medals home, it will be interesting to see how Sparc reallocate funding to sports in their next allo- cation. Hockey New Zealand rely heavily on funding from Sparc to implement a suit- able programme for both Black Sticks teams and build- ing up to the London Olympics this is ever so more important. There have always been discussions over the amount of money towards our ''top three sports of rugby, cricket and netball. Rugby collects $750,000 a year, while cricket increased their funding from $700,000 to $940,000, and netball picks up $940,000 a year over two years. The Black Sticks men received $700,000 for their 2009/10 programme while the women received $0. With performance a key requirement in receiving funding from Sparc, hockey should see an increase especially on the women s side after their silver medal in Delhi. Rowing New Zealand should also be a big winner from Sparc from both their performances and the event that was held at the world championships at Karapiro. However what interests me is how Australia supports their sports. The Australian govern- ment in the 2009/10 seasons only allocated AUS$350,000 to rugby, AUS$60,000 to cricket and AUS$0 to AFL and league. Australia makes it clear that their top sports should ideally rely on their funding from sponsorships, media rights and gate takings. Is this the way that Sparc will head in New Zealand? Is it fair that some sports like badminton, diving, table tennis, and gymnastics all received $0 in funding? Time will tell. North Harbour Hockey has more than 4000 members, and it s time to work with the people in our local and hockey communities to generate more funding opportunities. For those people who have seen our facilities, you will know that they are world class, and the opportunity and potential there is in North Harbour Hockey through the members and location. We are bringing several sports together for the close of our season in 2010 with a Celebrity Hockey Match on December 10.
November 11th 2010
November 16th 2010