Manukau Courier : February 11th 2011
8 MANUKAU COURIER, FEBRUARY 11, 2011 SPORT Masse Ho es ea--Mag e 1 y atur y 1Fruary:Agr tur y F ru ry y d nd th r v h u a an omes ead an re a un a y 1Fru ry Tongu roov y e un ay 27F bruar y : Agr un y M r Br n nHm B n Crunch time for Steeler No 8 Pressure: Steelers No 8 Fritz Lee gets his last chance to press for a place in the Chiefs' Super15 squad during their final trial against the Blues at Bayer Growers Stadium in Pukekohe tonight. Photo: SHANE ENZLICK By ALAN APTED Steeler Fritz Lee steps up in com- pany when he starts for the Chiefs alongside All Blacks Mils Muliaina and Sitiveni Sivivatu in their final Super15 warm-up match against the Blues at Bayer Growers Stadium in Pukekohe tonight. Lee will play at No 8 where he's paired in the loose forwards with two other All Blacks, Liam Messam and Tanerau Latimer. The company he's in signals the abrasive 22-year-old, out of the Ardmore Marist club by way of the Manurewa Rugby Club, is knocking at the door of a Chiefs berth. How he does in his final exam- ination against a Blues team bristling with current and former All Blacks will determine where he stands in the Chiefs' loose for- ward pecking order. The pressure is on because this is his last chance to convince coach Ian Foster that he is deserv- ing of a place, if not in the starting line-up at least on the bench. His work at the back of the scrum with All Blacks halfback Brendon Leonard will be a big part of the decision making. But perhaps the selection that has produced the most surprise is that of Ahsee Tuala, the lad who caught the eye playing on the wing for the Steelers in the ITM Cup last season. The 21-year-old out of Weymouth, the same club where All Black Jo Rokocoko played his junior rugby, is one of only two members of the Chiefs' wider training squad to make the cut. He starts off the bench. Luckily for Tuala and Lee they have will have someone with the experience and guile on hand to help them through the nerve- wracking atmosphere of a final trial. Their Steelers captain Tana Umaga will start at second five- eighth. The last member of the Steelers getting a run is utility back Tim Nanai Williams. The 21-year-old who twice played for the New Zealand Secondary Schools when at The Manurewa High School can play fullback, wing, first five or second five-eighth. It is his second season with the Chiefs. Williams, Lee and Tuala will link up with another old boy from Manurewa, Lelia Masaga, who transferred to the Bay of Plenty last season starts on the wing. Singh makes return By ALAN APTED Captain fantastic: After starring with the bat on the first day, Papatoetoe captain Gareth Shaw now needs a match-winning bowling effort to lead his team to victory against Eden Roskill tomorrow. Swinging, left: Papatoetoe's Ishu Shodi swings and misses against Eden Roskill in their Auckland club cricket two-day match at the Papatoetoe Recreation Grounds in Hunters Corner last Saturday. Photos: JASON OXENHAM Papatoetoe are bolstered by the return of their Auckland Aces off- spinner Bhupinder Singh for the final day of their Auckland club cricket two-day match at Hunters Corner tomorrow. The 24-year-old Papatoetoe High School old boy hasn't played much club cricket this season because of his commitment to the Aces. But his availability will be cru- cial to Papatoetoe's chances of bowling the Eden-Roskill visitors out twice on the final day for an outright win and maximum points. Papatoetoe need maximum points to challenge Howick Pakuranga for sixth position in the major championship. They will avoid relegation to next season's minor championship if they pull it off. Otherwise they will feature in a playoff with Grafton United, the team running second in the four- team minor championship. The last thing they want to do is lose to last-placed Eden Roskill because they will be automatically relegated. Papatoetoe are in a solid pos- ition thanks to their captain Gareth Shaw. Much is often made of one individual's contribution to a side's total and more often than not it's overstated. But it is fair to say that Papatoetoe's innings was the Gareth Shaw show. Out of a total of 291, he blasted 163 not out and with brother Lance (39) put on 93 for the sixth wicket. Shaw is over the moon about his innings. His previous highest score was 189, scored in a Sunday league match in England several seasons ago. But he says the calibre of that league isn't as high as it is in Auckland club cricket. It's definitely the best score of my career,'' he says. It was fantastic and I'm over the moon about it. I've never played an innings as big or as important as that one.'' It's the closest Papatoetoe have come to sticking to a game plan all season, he says. The plan was to bat all day and get 300. We did bat all day and fell only nine runs short of our target.'' Shaw says he, brother Lance, Singh and teenage leg spinner Ishu Shodi must now produce a match-winning effort with the ball. Play resumes at 11am.
February 10th 2011
February 15th 2011