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Wednesday October 10, 2018

SPORT

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Representative players continue to make WHS proud The success of the rugby programme at Wainuiomata High School continues with representative players displaying excellent results recently. In the last few months, Alex Faifailoa and Dante Kakahi were selected to play in the Hurricanes under 18 squad, Levi Smith and Andrew Sa’u were selected for the Hurricanes under 16 squad, while Leon McLoed-Venu was a representative in the Wellington Samoan under 18 team. But it was recently where the Wainuiomata talent stood out. On September 29, the Wellington Centurions under 18 team won against Wairarapa Bush counterparts, 50-10. This saw the team win the Hurricanes U18 Shield. Wainuiomata had two players in this squad, last year’s head boy Alex, who was the captain of the team, and current 1st XV captain Dante, who was unfortunately injured and unable to play in the final. Both players were highly regarded in their respective positions and tremendously proud of their team’s result. This was the Centurians first win in this

competition for 28 years. Current head boy Leon’s performance in the Wellington Samoan under 18 team was recognised, even though an early loss in the campaign meant the side did not to make the final. Andrew and Levi both returned from the Hurricanes under 16 tournament this week victorious, beating the Hawkes Bay development side 40-20. After being down 13-12 at half time, a quick four-try burst, including an outstanding 90m team try finished by Levi, saw the lead race to 40-12. The Hawkes Bay side gained a consolation try but the Wellington side were able to retain the Saracens cup which they have held for the last four years. Phillip Kauika, Wainuiomata High School’s first XV coach and Deputy Principal says, “The number of Wellington representatives from Wainuiomata High School continues to flourish and there’s no sign of this stopping with the school sending a touring rugby team to Japan in 2019.” Alex Faifailoa and Dante Kakahi holding up the Hurricanes u18 Shield.

Sports talk

with Jacob Page

Wrestling with the chance of history missed

ABOVE: The Hurricanes under 16 development squad’s Levi Smith, coach Phillip Kauika, and Andrew Sa’u. RIGHT: Leon McLoed-Venu has had a good run with the Wellington Samoan under 18 team. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

New sponsor for iconic Wellington event Sport Wellington is excited to announce Brendan Foot Supersite as the sponsor for the 2019 Wellington Round the Bays. This will be the 42nd year that Round the Bays has run, and it has become a truly iconic Wellington event taking place on February 17. Brendan Foot Supersite has already been a sponsor of Round the Bays for many years, as well as sponsoring the Central Pulse and Wellington Phoenix. Matthew Foot, dealer principal of Brendan

Foot Supersite in Lower Hutt, says he saw the opportunity as a good fit with their community support and sport focus. Round the Bays has over 14,000 people from across the wider Wellington region participate in an event that showcases our beautiful waterfront but is so much more than the distance covered. Registrations for the 2019 event open on November 1, 2018. Earlybird registrations close on November 30 and standard pricing on January 31, 2019.

I sat in Melbourne over the weekend realising I’d flown over for the wrong event. I was in the sporting capital of the world to attend a WWE wrestling show along with 70,000 other people at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday night. If I’d done my due diligence before my flight took off I would have realised I’d lucked into the best opportunity to see wonder mare Winx race in the flesh at Flemington. Had I not been staying with my cousin, I wouldn’t have even known Winx was going for win No 28 in a row in the Turnbull Stakes. As I sat on the couch in our accommodation, mentally kicking myself for letting a golden opportunity disappear, I watched through the television in amazement as racing purists and casual fans alike soaked up the atmosphere. Children were dressed in the silks of Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman and seasoned race analysts simply stopped pondering who might win and became cheerleaders for the mare pre-race. She was an unbackable $1.14 on the fixed odds to win the race. In fact, analysts were telling people to back Winx and frame the ticket, as merely living in the age of the mare and seeing her race was victory in itself. With the stage set, the champion settled in her customary back of the pack position. Her booming speed in the home straight had been her calling card for years. She often streaked away from her opponents with utter arrogance as race callers battled to find superlatives to match what they had seen.

Saturday did not go to script. With 500m to go, Winx was second last on the rails. With 300m to go, her position had improved to the point where she was looking for a gap to stick her naturally big nose through and surge past but she was still a long way off the leaders in a quality field. With many acknowledging after the race that they thought she had no chance at that stage, Winx found some clear running room and Bowman set her alight. She stormed home and won by a length. It may not have been the most commanding performance of her career but few could argue it wasn’t one of her absolute best. I’m not sure if any other horse could have won from such an apparently hopeless position. My cousin, a casual racing fan, sat in amazement. I sat there, still kicking myself I wasn’t at the track, but thankful I’d seen a slice of history. If you only watch horse racing once this year, go out of your way to watch Winx race. The wonder mare will try and make further history when she races in the Cox Plate at Flemington on October 27. Winx will try and notch her fourth successive win in the Cox Plate. A race won previously by greats including; Phar Lap, Tulloch, Makybe Diva, Gunsynd, Kingston Town, Sunline and who can forget Bonecrusher’s win over Waverley Star, title “The race of the century”. Winx’s not just a sporting star, she is one for the history books.

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Wainuiomata News 10-10-18  

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