Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times, Wed, Feb 27, 2013
www.times.co.nz Howick and Botany Times, Wednesday, February 27, 2013 --- 19 www.stemsfromhome.co.nz Experienced Pre-school Educators to work from their homes URGENTLY NEEDED! Ph 09 536 7103 to enquire NOW! 120161 HAVING scored such a promising 34-20 Super 15 rugby win against the Hurricanes, the Blues face their moment of truth at Eden Park against the mighty Crusaders on Friday night. It promises to be a severe test for their forwards against the best pack in the championship, even though All Black captain Richie McCaw’s sabbatical stops him from facing them. With new skipper Ali Williams responding well to his promotion and Steven Luatua and Peter Saili providing plenty of grunt, the Blues forwards played above expecta- tions against the Hurricanes. Full marks, too, to halfback Piri Weepu and ﬁrst-ﬁve Chris Noakes for taking smart options and pro- viding fast service to an exciting, big, muscular backline that oozes power and pace. Francis Saili looks an ideal cen- tre partner for former All Black Rene Ranger and along with pow- erful right wing Frank Halai and fullback Charles Piutau, has the potential to become an All Black before the 2015 World Cup. All are young and raw, but each has the skill and physical assets to make the grade as they gain expe- rience under the expert coaching of John Kirwan, Graham Henry and Grant Doorey. Just how dangerous an attacking unit they will become will depend on their ability to make the right decisions under pressure and the accuracy of their passing. A few passes went astray against the Canes, but they still scored four tries with Ranger and Piutau adding singles to Halai’s double. Halai was a try-scoring star for the champion NZ Sevens last year and will be keen to make his mark over a season which has champion All Black wing Corey Jane side- lined with injury, and the likes of Hosea Gear leading the charge to ﬁll his boots. The explosive Luatua is also a great prospect whose effectiveness will depend on how well the tight- ﬁve cope after losing All Black loosehead prop Tony Woodcock to the Highlanders. They face a huge challenge against the Crusaders, who will be hoping the injection of Tabai Matson and Aaron Mauger to Todd Blackadder’s coaching staff will sharpen their backline. Meanwhile, the decision of Dave Rennie and Wayne Smith to convert fullback/wing Tim Nanai- Williams into a centre paid a rich dividend for the Chiefs in their 41-27 Dunedin thriller against the Highlanders. Nanai-Williams speed and goose step left opponents stranded as he blazed away for two of the Chiefs four tries, on a night Blues ﬁrst- ﬁve reject Gareth Anscombe had an excellent game at fullback and goaled eight of nine attempts for 21 points. Nanai-Williams’ running adds further thrust to the threat the Chiefs backs already possess, although his failure to tackle low when Kade Poki fended him off for a Highlanders try is a lesson he’ll need to learn from. The pace of the game was extraordinary in con- ﬁrming the ﬁtness levels of both teams. The national selectors will also take heart from the dashing form of Chiefs openside ﬂanker Sam Cane, who had a cracker despite bombing one try by going it alone with an inside swerve when he ignored unmarked teammates out- side him. Another bright No 7 prospect is the speedy young Hurricane Ardie Savea, when he joins the fray in the same team as brother Julian after a four-week suspension. Blues give us some hope Agnew's Angle EXERCISE EVENTS: Right, 600 people took part in Botany Town Centre's Summer Fun Run and Walk on February 17. The 5km option was taken up by 58 per cent of participants, and the event overall was most popular amongst females, who made up seven out of every 10 entries. Left, the team of Andrew Gutschlag, Rhian Fenton and Jenna Oh completed the Weet-bix Tryathlon at St Heliers last Sunday. Andrew did the 200m swim, while his cousin Rhian, who attends Pigeon Mountain Primary, ran the 1.5km run leg. Jenna, who goes to Farm Cove Intermediate while on home stay from Korea, did the 8km cycle. Photos supplied BASEBALL HP win two NYCC titles HOWICK Pakuranga Baseball Club has defended the New Zealand under-13 title and added the under-15 championship to its trophy cabinet. The Baseball NZ National Youth Club Championships (NYCC) was held at Cross eld Reserve, Glendowie, from last Thursday to Sunday. Te Puru Coasters under-13s opened the tournament with a 9-6 win over North Shore. The Beachlands club was no match for its East Auckland neighbours in the next match though, going down 1-13 to Howick Pakuranga (HP) under-13s last Friday. Howick Pakuranga's under-15s also started day two strongly, with a 14-4 win over Central City. They recorded the same score against Bayside Westhaven the next day. First baseman Elliot Johnstone had ve hits from eight at bats with four runs batted in (RBI) across the two big wins. Howick Pakuranga's under-13s continued their march on day three with a 12-2 victory over Bayside Westhaven. Alex Hill had ve runs from as many at bats in the rst two matches, including a three-run homer in the rst inning against Bayside. After amassing a 25-3 combined score to reach the nal, the HP under-13s were put to the test in the decider. Facing Bayside for the second time in two days, Hill took charge on both the mound and the plate. He allowed just one hit from six innings pitched, striking out 12 batters. With the bat, he had two RBIs from two hits and a walk. HP under-15s made easier work of their nal, winning 10-3 over Central City. Johnstone topped o a great tournament with three hits and four runs. HP's under-18s started with a 6-2 win over Central City, but followed up with two losses, 1-19 to Bayside and 8-13 to North Shore. Bayside, featuring New Zealand Diamondblacks pitcher MaKauley Fox, went on to win the under-18 title.
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