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SPORT

Team New Zealand takes third at surf cup

Thursday June 29, 2017

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Lions fans watching the Lions fans

Team New Zealand captain Jessica Miller ahead of the Sanyo Cup. PHOTO: Supplied

Team New Zealand finished in third place at the 10th annual Sanyo Bussan International Lifesaving Cup in Japan at the weekend. The team, which features Lyall Bay’s Atakura Julian, finished on 703 points, just behind Japan and Australia. Atakura did well in most of his events coming seventh in the Men’s Surf race as a single. In the team events Atakura came fourth alongside Ben Johnston in the Men’s Surf team Race, second with Ben, Javon McCallum and Hamish Miller in the Men’s Tube Rescue and second alongside Ben, Hamish and Bayden Botha in the Oceanman. The event was the first time a number of the team members had worn the New Zealand cap and coach Danny Morrison said he was proud of all of the athletes. “Yes we came up a bit shorter than we would have liked on the points table, and yes we made some mistakes over the two days that ultimately cost us second place this time around, but after day one of racing, the group

came together and made a commitment to ‘spend every penny’ we had in every race,” he said. “The end result was that we saw them literally collapsing on the ground at the end of their race, unable to pick up the gear they had just paddled. “They had given their team everything they had, and for that reason, we could not ask for more. “On this occasion, other athletes were better on the day and we must applaud the other teams for the way they fought for their results.” The team arrived back in New Zealand on Wednesday. The next big event on the calendar is the pool-based lifesaving competition at the World Games in Poland for the New Zealand team of 10. Then, the focus will turn to the International Surf Rescue Challenge at Mount Maunganui in December, paving the way to the 2018 Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide.

Sports talk

with Jacob Page

Ken and Val Skehan are looking to collect fans views of the Lions tour. PHOTO: Supplied.

Lions fans have flocked to Wellington this week for two big games in the Capital. The British and Irish Lions played the Hurricanes on Tuesday night with a final score of 31-31. Meanwhile they would be going head to head with the All Blacks on Saturday. One Lions fan, Ken Skehan, has come from England determined to write a book on fans’ experiences, both from here in the Capital and abroad. “For a long time I’ve wanted to produce a tangible tribute to the people who make elite sport what it is today – the fans that attract broadcasters and sponsors to invest vast sums in sport,” Ken explained. “We want to capture the essence of

what it’s like to be among the 20,000 or so who have travelled half way round the world to watch the cream of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh rugby combine to take on the mighty All Blacks.” The Book would be called Focus on the Fans: Lions Tour 2017. Ken said he wanted as many fans as possible to tell their stories of the tour. He and his wife Val would be in Wellington all week wearing their bright tabards in hopes of meeting fans wishing to tell their story. Fans could also submit their stories online.  For more information head to www. focusonthefans.com or email ken@ focusonthefans.com.

New posts walked to school

Lions’ roar more like a whimper after game one Saturday night was the British Lions’ only chance and they blew it. They created enough chances but like all other teams, they couldn’t sustain the effort for 80 minutes. The charm offensive from the men in red during this tour seemed to have worked a treat. Yes, the All Blacks were pushed but only in parts and parts simply isn’t going to cut it against this champion rugby team. 30-15 flattened the Lions, who scored one of the best test tries in recent memory but lacked the ability to finish at key times. If you can’t take your chances you won’t win a game of rugby against New Zealand. Potential doesn’t pay the bills. The All Blacks matched the physicality and dominated at scrum and

the breakdown and once their scrum got smashed 15 minutes into the second half and the game was over. Yes it was competitive but only in patches and only based on this dominant period of All Black rugby. I hope the home team wins this year’s series 3-0 and I maintain that’s how it will go. The Lions had all the momentum, 70 percent of the supporters in Eden Park and they bottled their chance. The All Blacks suffered injuries to key players Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty and still won by 15 points. At some point there must be a realisation that we are witnessing the most golden of eras of New Zealand rugby. Who knows when the golden goose will stop laying the eggs but this is an era worth enjoying.

Rongotai College students walk their new posts to school last week. PHOTO: Supplied. By Emma McAuliffe

Rongotai College have new rugby posts thanks to some innovation from the school’s team and management. The school had always had six metre high rugby posts, half the size of 12 metre high average playing post. Rugby coordinator Mo Mackey said after looking to get some new posts through Wellington Rugby and other sources the school managed to have some donated by the Oriental-Rongotai (Ories) club. There was one catch, however, the posts were at Miramar’s polo ground. “I found out there was a set of old rugby

posts at the Basin reserve that the Ories had moved to the Polo Ground, which is their home ground,” Mo explained. “The Ories are our feeder club so we made contact to see if we could have them. “We looked around for trucks that that could carry a 12 metre long goal post but couldn’t so me and the 1st XV management thought it would make a good team building exercise.” The school’s 1st XV rugby team walked the posts to Rongotai College from the Polo Ground in hi-viz jackets last Wednesday morning during morning fitness at 6.30am. Mo said the posts would be up in time for their next game against St Patrick’s College Silverstream next week.

Cook Strait News 29-06-17  

Cook Strait News 29-06-17

Cook Strait News 29-06-17  

Cook Strait News 29-06-17