Manukau Courier : March 15th 2011
23 MANUKAU COURIER, MARCH 15, 2011 SPORT Cup visit a crowd-pleaser So close: Counties Rugby development officer Jeremy Wara with the Webb Ellis trophy at Counties Manukau Rugby Union junior registration day at Growers Stadium. On display were six of rugby's most cherished trophies -- the Webb Ellis Rugby World Cup, Bledisloe Cup, Tri Nations Cup, Junior Rugby World Championship Trophy , Women's World Cup and the Hillary Shield. Photo: RICHARD SPRANGER By ALAN APTED Photographs of junior rugby players and teams posing with the Rugby World Cup were the hottest ticket at Growers Stadium in Pukekohe last Wednesday. The Webb Ellis Cup featured along with international rugby s other significant trophies like the 42kg Bledisloe Cup, the Women s World Cup, the Junior World Champion- ship Trophy and the Tri Nations Cup on the New Zea- land Rugby Trophy Tour. But it was the Rugby World Cup that had hundreds of chil- dren, parents, rugby players and fans smitten. Counties Manukau Rugby media director Kylie Sousa says the interest was huge. There were whole teams turning up to have their photo- graphs taken with the cup, she says. Word is that some are going to blow up the picture and hang it up in their clubrooms for pos- terity. There was interest in the other trophies but it was the World Cup that young and old wanted to be photographed with. Sousa says the fact that people could get up close to the cups made the fans more appreciative. Security was at a minimum and the visit by the cups was well received. The Counties Manukau Rugby Union got more than it expected by hosting the tour. The union turned on a fun day where young players got to hang out with the children s rugby mascots Rugger and the Ruggerbees, rub shoulders with the Steelers and their mascot Steely Dan, and play games and do skill drills. Clubs also used the oppor- tunity to register players for the coming season. It proved such a hit the clubs are demanding we do it all again next year, club liaison officer Annette Smith says. It s the first time we ve done something like this and we re pleasantly surprised by the response. The union has taken the request on board, Smith says. Hard to be more disappointed Crunch time: Warriors centre Joel Moon is tackled by Parramatta Eels lock Justin Horo, left, and centre Ryan Morgan in their rugby league match at Eden Park on Saturday night. Photo: JASON OXENHAM There is no point trying todressitup,Iamas disappointed as it is possible to get. I have been looking forward to the start of the NRL season for weeks but it s taken only one game for the doomsayers to get back into business. The Vodafone War- riors attracted a record crowd to Eden Park on Saturday night with 38,412 fans in the ground to see them take on Stephen Kearney s Parramatta Eels. Butitdidnotgoto script and our boys were beaten 24-18. That is the nature of the game -- sometimes you just have to put your hand on your heart and admit you were beaten by a better team on the night. The worst of it was that we have lost Manu Vatuvei to a knee injury, and that is a cruel blow for any coach, let alone in round one. The knockers are already in full flight moaning about how we went. And sure, we didn t play as well as I d have liked -- or I imagine most of the crowd would have liked either. But it is only round one. Something happened after the game though that I thought was really special and highlighted to me just how good sport can be in terms of bring- ing people together. The club had gone out of its way to make sure we could have a Mad Butcher s Lounge at the park and it was rocking after the game, es- pecially because there was a big contingent of Cantabrians up for the game. Also there were a group of Eels fans and one of them happened to win the draw for a signed Vodafone Warriors jer- sey. He gave it straight back and told us to auc- tion it for Christchurch. How good is that? It turned out he was an auctioneer himself, so he conducted the bid- ding. But I stepped in and stopped it at $1500 when there were two bidders -- both from Greymouth. I ve organ- ised for both to get one. And the chap who dropped out of the bid- ding at $1000 agreed to put that up too, so the Christchurch earth- quake fund is going to be $4000 better off. And sitting quietly in the room was league legend Olsen Filipaina who has been a friend of mine since Adam was a lad. He was back for the Legends of League game at Mt Smart on Thurs- day night, which raised more than $100,000 for Christchurch. So when I look at what happened to our South Island brothers who have lost their lives, homes and jobs -- losing a footy match doesn t seem that important to me. I had a huge week, really -- handing out the Warriors jerseys at the breakfast launch at SkyCity on Tuesday, then going to Ellerslie to attend the Auckland Cup on Wednesday, and of course dealing with Legends game the next evening. Friday was another special day. I watched the boys in training and was able to take them out for lunch. And on Saturday I was up bright and early meeting our guests from Christ- church who we took to the league museum at Holmes Rd too. I was also called upon to present three new Warriors -- Shaun Berri- gan, Glen Fiisiahi and Feleti Mateo -- with their first jerseys. I will never forget how humble that made me feel or indeed how proud I was to see so many at Eden Park for the game. The boys may have got beaten but the Juniors got the season off to a good start with a hard fought 20-16 win. Our next home game is at Mt Smart on March 27 at 2pm. Before then we fly to Sydney to play Wests Tigers. If I didn t have something else on I would be off to follow the boys, and to catch up with my good friend Benji Marshall. I for one am sticking behind him. He is a great bloke and I am proud to be in his camp. Just as I am always proud to be Warriors fan. Bring it on. 2883235AA ADVERTISING TERMS AND CONDITIONS 1. In accepting an advertisement for publication we rely on the advertiser's express warranty, the truth of which is essential: a. That the advertisement does not mislead, deceive or breach the Fair Trading Act, is not defamatory, indecent or offensive, does not infringe copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights, nor breach any rule of law. b. That the ad complies with Advertising Standards Authority codes of practice and with other standards relating to NZ advertising. c. Publication will not give rise to liability on our part, or in a claim against us. 2. 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Agenda - • Election of Officers • Financial Report • General Business All Welcome to Attend MASSIVE CLEARANCE SALE! Top Fragrance & Cosmetic Brands 24 Highbrook Drive, East Tamaki (DHL/EXEL Warehouse) Saturday 19th March : 9.00am - 3.00pm - DON T MISS OUT - BRING FAMILY & FRIENDS - No handbags. Eftpos & cash only. No credit cards/cheques accepted.
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