Manukau Courier : March 11th 2014
www.manukaucourier.co.nz New scrum laws clarified By ALAN APTED More than 100 Counties Manukau coaches, referees and players now have the inside word on how new scrum laws will operate. They got it in a presentation by Bryce Lawrence, the New Zealand high performance referee squad’s head selector. One of the world’s best at officiating the scrum in his time, Lawrence went into great detail about the new ‘‘crouch, bind, set’’ law which will be used this season. The change was introduced by the International Rugby Board to make the scrums safer by reducing the impact of the two packs coming together. Counties Manukau referee edu- cation officer John Dustow says the presentation was humorous and effective, and provided for robust debate and questions. ‘‘The presentation was well received and attended, and I hope it will be the first of many to ensure that the Counties Manukau rugby fraternity is up to speed to enhance their teams’ knowledge of the legal side of the rules of rugby,’’ Dustow says. Lawrence’s presentation can be found on the Counties Manukau website steelers.co.nz in the community rugby section under ‘‘Referees’’ and ‘‘laws in brief’’. Dustow and referee development officer Dameon Chaney are teaming up to attend training for any club, school or referee that wants an insight into the workings of the new law. ❚ Call Dameon 021 279 2227 or John 027 439 0456. SPORT MANUKAU COURIER, MARCH 11, 2014 23 Expert: Bryce Lawrence gave Counties Manukau coaches, referees and players a preview of the new scrum laws. Photo: FAIRFAX MEDIA Sick of Warriors losing their first game MAD SPORT ON THE 19TH WARRIOR THE MAD BUTCHER I’d been chomping at the bit to see the Vodafone Warriors play and 80 minutes later all I could think of was how I was going to have to suffer through endless talkback radio about how it was a case of the same old thing. A first-up game against lowly- rated opposition, high expectations, four new signings on debut, all the promise and excitement – and nothing to show for it. Beaten 36-16, we were a poor sec- ond in every area, there is no going back on it. Parramatta’s wingers both scored a hat-trick and you do not need to be any kind of league expert to know that’s not good. It was disappointing and coach Matt Elliott will be scratching his head about how a side that looked so good pre-season against Brisbane can have turned in what was at best a lacklustre performance on opening night. The Eels scored off kicks, after we coughed up possession close to our line and at will out wide. In the last 12 seasons we have won only twice on opening day and frankly I’m sick of it. It would have been nice to go into next weekend’s home game against St George off the back of a good performance but it’s not to be. But how good was it to have NRL footy back on the box? Week one Another one: The Warriors players look dejected after conceding yet another try to the Parramatta Eels. Photo: GETTY IMAGES and we’ve already had plenty of surprises. It opened with the Bunnies beat- ing the reigning champion Roosters 28-8, the Broncos nailing the Doggies 18-12, Penrith hammering the Knights 30-8, Cameron Smith getting the Storm home 23-22 over Manly in extra time with a field goal, and some Jonathon Thurston magic crucial to the Cowboys sneaking in 28-22 over the Raiders. The real surprise to me though was St George. Last year they couldn’t score points and plenty of people were saying it was going to be hard for them to turn that around. Well they hammered the Tigers 44-24. So I’m totally charged about our first home game of the year against the Dragons. The team with the Big Red V will be spoiling for action after bashing the Tigers and they’ll be tough at Eden Park where we have traditionally struggled to win. I can’t wait. In fact I got so excited I booked a ninepiece band from Taranaki to perform in the lounge and – as far as I know – the world’s only Maori Elvis impersonator, Terry Tamati, the brother of Kiwis legend Howie. My week actually started with the Barfoot and Thompson Auckland Cup and fair play to Peter Thompson and his team at Auckland’s leading real estate outfit, they did a superb job on the day. I love going to Ellerslie and have held many functions there. They do a first class job with the food, service and entertainment and Cup Day was no different. I was invited along by Lion and had a great day, even managing to back the winner. It was a pleasure to see some famous faces. Vodafone Warriors hooker Nathan Friend was there with his charming wife Kelly. And I caught up Stephen Donald, the man who landed that wonderful Rugby World Cup penalty, and his fellow All Black Ma’a Nonu. Super Rugby winning coach Dave Rennie of the Chiefs was trying his luck with some of his management team and ever the gentleman, Warriors legend and 313 game NRL veteran Steve Price gave me a tip or two – though I won’t say how they went. But what happened to my Blues? They went down in South Africa and there was lots of moaning. They’ll be right next game and Sir John Kirwan can take comfort from the fact he’s not in charge of the Hurricanes. But after Sunday night’s result there is obviously only one thing I can say ahead of our first home game of the year, and that’s, you guessed it, go the Mighty Vodafone Warriors! Teams chasing touch glory By ALAN APTED The disappointment of losing last year’s national touch finals on home soil has the Counties Manukau open men’s and women’s teams fired up for this year’s championship starting at Bruce Pulman Park in Papakura on Friday. The disappointment of the men’s one-point loss to Auckland and the women’s one-point loss to Waikato is just a memory now. But it has been a huge motivating factor in their preparations. The men have Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Manawatu, Waikato and Wellington to contend with this time around while the women face Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, North Harbour, Waikato and Wellington. They’re among the 73 teams from 15 provinces who’ll be in Papakura this weekend. More than 1000 players will be chasing 13 titles during the three-day event. Touch New Zealand is organising the tournament with Counties Manukau Touch. Ninety referees will run the matches. Hotels, motels and marae around South Auckland will be run off their feet by the influx of players. It’s the second year in a row that the nationals have been held at Bruce Pulman Park. Games start at 9am on Friday and Saturday and 8am on Sunday. They finish at 6pm each evening. The finals are expected to start on Sunday at 1pm.
March 7th 2014
March 13th 2014