Auckland-based football fans are in for a treat in the middle of next month after both ASB Chatham Cup semi-finals were drawn to be played in the City of Sails on Tuesday.
The semi-final draw for the 91st edition of the club competition was made at ASB Bank's North Wharf headquarters in downtown Auckland by New Zealand Football Competitions Manager Chris Kemp and ASB Bank Executive General Manager of Marketing and Communications Roger Beaumont.
After coming from a goal down at halftime away to Melville United in their quarter-final played on Saturday, first time semi-finalists Onehunga Sports have drawn a home clash with two-time competition winners Cashmere Technical of Christchurch.
The defending ASB Chatham Cup champions earned their trip to Auckland courtesy of a 3-0 away victory over Dunedin Technical on Sunday which saw All Whites midfielder Aaron Clapham score the game's opening goal.
Meanwhile, the second semi-final will see Central United FC play host to Napier City Rovers.
Five times winners Central earned their last four spot with a 2-0 victory over Hamilton Wanderers at Kiwitea Street on Sunday while Napier City Rovers - four times ASB Chatham Cup champions - progressed courtesy of a come-from-behind 4-1 win over Wellington's Island Bay United.
The semi-finals of the ASB Chatham Cup will be played on the weekend of August 16-17 before the competition final on September 7.
Both semi-finals of the ASB Women's Knockout Cup were drawn and played in Auckland earlier this month as Glenfield Rovers and Forrest Hill Milford United AFC booked their spots in the final.
ASB Chatham Cup 2014 - Semi-finals
Onehunga Sports v Cashmere Technical #OSPvCSH
Central Utd FC v Napier City Rovers #CENvNCR
The All Blacks selectors, Steve Hansen, Ian Foster and Grant Fox, yesterday named a squad balanced with experience and youth for the 2014 Investec Rugby Championship.
The squad is as follows: (with province, Super Rugby team and Test caps).
Dane Coles Wellington / Hurricanes (18)
Keven Mealamu Auckland / Blues (113)
Wyatt Crockett Canterbury / Crusaders (27)
Charlie Faumuina Auckland / Blues (20)
Ben Franks Hawke's Bay / Hurricanes (31)
Owen Franks Canterbury / Crusaders (57)
Tony Woodcock North Harbour / Blues (110)
Dominic Bird Canterbury / Crusaders (1)
Brodie Retallick Bay of Plenty / Chiefs (27)
Patrick Tuipulotu Auckland / Blues (2)
Samuel Whitelock Canterbury / Crusaders (54)
Sam Cane Bay of Plenty / Chiefs (14)
Jerome Kaino Auckland / Blues (51)
Steven Luatua Auckland / Blues (11)
Richie McCaw (c) Canterbury / Crusaders (127)
Liam Messam Waikato / Chiefs (32)
Kieran Read Canterbury / Crusaders (62)
Tawera Kerr-Barlow Waikato / Chiefs (14)
TJ Perenara Wellington/ Hurricanes (3)
Aaron Smith Manawatu / Highlanders (29)
Beauden Barrett Taranaki / Hurricanes (19)
Daniel Carter Canterbury / Crusaders (100)
Aaron Cruden Manawatu / Chiefs (32)
Malakai Fekitoa Auckland / Highlanders (2)
Ma'a Nonu Wellington / Blues (91)
Conrad Smith Wellington / Hurricanes (77)
Israel Dagg Hawke's Bay / Crusaders (39)
Cory Jane Wellington / Hurricanes (48)
Charles Piutau Auckland / Blues (10)
Ben Smith Otago / Highlanders (29)
Julian Savea Wellington/ Hurricanes (22)
Crusaders and Canterbury prop Joe Moody has also been brought in as an injury replacement for Tony Woodcock who will miss the start of the Investec Rugby Championship with a shoulder injury.
The 31-strong squad, which will again be captained by the All Blacks indomitable, regular skipper Richie McCaw, features the return of the world's leading Test points scorer Daniel Carter, who is back in the national side after his extended break; and the return of Blues and Auckland outside back Charles Piutau and Chiefs and Bay of Plenty loose forward Sam Cane, who both missed the recent Steinlager Series against England through injury.
Chiefs and Bay of Plenty hooker Nathan Harris will assemble with the All Blacks for the domestic part of the season as part of his ongoing hooker "apprenticeship" with the national side.
Players from this year's Steinlager Series squad who have missed out on selection are the Crusaders and Canterbury trio of Colin Slade, Ryan Crotty and Matt Todd, while Hurricanes and Wellington loose forward Victor Vito and Crusaders and Canterbury lock Luke Romano were not considered for selection due to injury.
The squad is made up of 17 forwards (two hookers, five props, four locks and six loose forwards) and 14 backs (three halfbacks, three first five-eighths, three midfielders and five outside backs) and has a combined total of 1,272 Test caps (757 in the forwards and 515 in the backs) and an average age of 26.
The All Blacks squad will assemble on Wednesday this week for a two-day camp on Auckland's North Shore minus the eight players in the Crusaders, who will be preparing for this weekend's Super Rugby Final. In their absence, a number of other players will be brought into the camp: hookers Harris and the Hurricanes' Motu Matu'u; props Pauliasi Manu from the Chiefs and Highlander Kane Hames; Hurricanes lock Jeremy Thrush; loose forwards Liam Squire from the Chiefs and Shane Christie from the Highlanders.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said the selectors had faced a difficult task in trimming the squad down to 31.
"In doing so, we had to leave out players who are performing at a very, very high level and they could consider themselves unlucky not to be selected. But while we feel for those guys, unfortunately, we have to make the hard decisions."
Hansen also said the selectors had been hugely impressed with the way the All Blacks players had been playing in the last month for their Investec Super Rugby teams and it augured well for the Investec Rugby Championship.
"We are now looking forward to bringing the players together and building on the progress we made in the Steinlager Series against England.
"The Investec Rugby Championship gives us the next opportunity to see where we are at and it doesn't get much bigger than back-to-back Bledisloe Cup Tests to kick it off.
"It's going to be another intense competition. South Africa and Australia are ranked second and third in the world and both had successful June Test series, while Argentina will again bring the physicality and passion which we know they are renowned for. They will also bring the knowledge and experience which comes from playing in The Rugby Championship and we are expecting them to improve further."
The squad features representation across all New Zealand's Investec Super Rugby teams with three Highlanders players, eight Crusaders, seven Hurricanes, five Chiefs and eight Blues, while ten provinces are represented, led by Auckland and Canterbury (seven players each) with Wellington (six); Waikato, Bay of Plenty,Hawke's Bay and Manawatu (two each); and Taranaki, North Harbour and Otago (one each).
Following the two-day camp this week, the All Blacks will re-assemble in Auckland on Thursday 7 August to prepare for the opening Test of the competition, the Bledisloe Cup clash against Australia in Sydney on Saturday 16 August.
The Investec Rugby Championship - All Blacks Tests
1. Australia (ANZ Stadium, Sydney, 8.05PM, Saturday 16 August)
2. Australia (Eden Park, Auckland, 7.35PM, Saturday 23 August)
3. Argentina (McLean Park, Napier, 7.35PM, Saturday 6 September)
4. South Africa (Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 7.35PM, Saturday 13 September)
5. Argentina (Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata, 7.10PM, Sat 27 September)
6. South Africa (Ellis Park, Johannesburg, 5.05PM, Saturday 4 October)
All Blacks - The Highlights
- Since the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the All Blacks have played 31 Tests, with 29 wins, one draw and one loss, for a winning record of 95 percent.
- The All Blacks head in to the Investec Rugby Championship on the back of an unbeaten season last year and a three-Test Steinlager Series victory over England in June.
- The All Blacks have won The Rugby Championship for the past two years, held The Bledisloe Cup (played between New Zealand and Australia) since 2003 and The Freedom Cup (played between New Zealand and South Africa) since 2010.
Three previous winners and a first time semi-finalist make up the last four of the 2014 ASB Chatham Cup after the competition quarter-finals over the weekend.
Five-times winners Central United FC booked their semi-final place with a 2-0 win over Hamilton Wanderers, four-time champions Napier City Rovers advanced after a 4-1 come-from-behind victory over Wellington's Island Bay United while defending champions Cashmere Technical of Christchurch saw off the challenge of Dunedin Technical 3-0.
On Saturday, Onehunga Sports sealed their last four spot with a 2-1 win over Melville United at Gower Park.
At Kiwitea Street on Sunday, the class of Emiliano Tade proved crucial as the home side moved through over their Hamilton-based opponents in an entertaining, high tempo clash.
After a scoreless first 45 minutes, Central hit the lead 20 minutes into the second period as Tade smashed home a byline cut back from James Hoyt.
The game was still in the balance with Wanderers posing a threat until the 89th minute when Tade was finally brought down in the area by 'keeper Vladimir Frank after a slaloming run had taken the Central striker beyond two Wanderers' defenders. The diminutive Tade duly converted the spot kick to seal the result against a determined Hamilton Wanderers outfit.
At the Caledonian Ground in Dunedin, defending competition champions Cashmere Technical scored all three goals in the second half to progress.
All Whites midfielder Aaron Clapham opened the scoring at the second attempt in the 65th minute and Ashley Wellbourn doubled the visitors' advantage from close range with six minutes to go. Oscar Evans added a stoppage time capper to rub salt into Dunedin wounds.
At Wakefield Park in Wellington, Central League Napier City Rovers were forced to come from behind to claim a 4-1 win over Capital Premier League side Island Bay United.
Callum Holmes gave the home side a dream start, curling a delicious freekick into the Napier net in just the fifth minute.
The four-time champions struck back just before the half hour mark with their own piece of freekick brilliance; Andy Bevin replicating Holmes' earlier effort to even the ledger.
The 1-1 scoreline remained until Futsal Whites player Josh Stevenson stayed onside to slot home just after the hour mark while twin spot kicks from Ryan Tinsley - both after Bevin had been fouled - completed the scoring. The home side finished the game with 10 men after the earlier dismissal of Martine Pereyra Garcia for a second caution.
At Gower Park on Saturday, Onehunga Sports recovered from a 1-0 halftime deficit to book their place in the semi-final draw as Sean Lovemore and Daniel Culpan scored second half goals to turn the tie around. Tewi Te Pou had earlier given Melville a 25th minute lead.
With time winding down, Melville's Leon Newell rounded Onehunga goalkeeper Alex Gibson but, from a narrow angle, the striker could only hit the post with his shot as the Hamilton club's chance of reaching back-to-back semi-finals dramatically evaporated.
The ASB Chatham Cup semi-finals will be held on the weekend of August 16-17 with the draw taking place early next week. The exact timing of the draw will be advised.
ASB Chatham Cup 2014 - Quarter-finals
Melville Utd 1-2 Onehunga Sports (half: 1-0)
MEL: Tewi Te Pou 25'
OSP: Sean Lovemore 50', Daniel Culpan 83'
Dunedin Technical 0-3 Cashmere Technical (half: 0-0)
CSH: Aaron Clapham 63', Ashley Wellbourn 84', Oscar Evans 90'
Island Bay United 1-4 Napier City Rovers (half: 1-1)
IBU: Callum Holmes 5'
NCR: Andy Bevin 28', Josh Stevenson 63', Ryan Tinsley 77', 90+4'
Central United 2-0 Hamilton Wanderers (half: 0-0)
CEN: Emiliano Tade 65', 89' pen
Host responsibility has taken on greater meaning at the Napier Old Boys Marist (NOBM) clubrooms this winter.
The Park Island-based club has been piloting Ease Up In The Bay, a project jointly run by Hawke's Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) and ACC, with support from Police.
It focuses on increasing the profile of safe and responsible drinking in sports clubs.
HBDHB Population Health Adviser Michele Grigg said, "Ease Up in the Bay builds on learnings from two similar projects in Canterbury and Waikato. The project takes a proactive approach to improving host responsibility in the sport club environment with the aim of reducing alcohol-related harm.
"This means working with the club to develop a robust approach to host responsibility - things like having good food options available, along with free water and a range of low alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages.
"The intention is to create safer and healthier sporting clubs and communities by encouraging clubs to promote a responsible attitude towards alcohol, and therefore a safe environment for players, members, families and supporters."
NOBM club manager Jamie Beale said meeting the project's criteria was more a matter of tweaking existing operations than making wholesale changes.
With the club catering for rugby, netball, football, softball and cricket there was already a family-friendly atmosphere with a strong presence of women and children at the clubrooms. A playground built a couple of years ago was testimony to that.
"It's just been ticking a few other boxes," Jamie said. "Previously we would have not served an intoxicated patron, but now we also have to assist them to leave the premises. And that doesn't mean letting them leave and hop in a car - causing problems afterward."
ACC Community Injury Prevention Consultant Sally Phelps said nationally alcohol is an increasing and constant factor in injury claims to ACC.
She said innovations like sports goods vouchers for player-of-the-day prizes instead of alcohol, or the installation of a coffee machine could make a major difference within a club.
There are two levels to Ease Up In The Bay, with NOBM having signed up to Level One, the entry level.
At that level the club commits to several criteria including an endorsed host responsibility policy which is promoted to members, regular police walk-throughs, and intoxication and host responsibility training for club staff.
Ms Phelps said the NOBM trial, funded by ACC, the HBDHB and the Health Promotion Agency will be evaluated late next month.
"The intention is to roll it out to ten other clubs over the next two years," she said.
Captain Luke Braid headlines a quartet of Blues players who have recommitted to the franchise.
Braid, fellow flanker Brendon O'Connor and wing Frank Halai have all signed one year deals with the Blues while halfback Bryn Hall has re-signed until the end of 2016.
25-year-old Braid was a consistently high performer this season despite carrying a shoulder injury for most of the year and said he still had high ambitions in New Zealand.
"I'm still incredibly motivated to win something with the Blues and continue to try and make the All Blacks," Braid said.
"I've been through the good times with the Blues in my first year when we made the semis, hit rock bottom the following year and we've been working our way back up since then. I feel we're heading in the right direction and am keen to stick around and keep working hard to achieve our goals."
Braid had surgery on his right shoulder two weeks ago and is expected to have surgery on his left shoulder next month, meaning he will miss the ITM Cup with Auckland but will be fit and available for the start of the Blues' 2015 campaign.
24-year-old O'Connor, who was recently named captain of his ITM Cup side the Hawke's Bay Magpies, said: "I've really enjoyed my time with the Blues. I'm just looking to get as much game time as I can next year and I think the Blues is the best place for me to do that.
"Having Braidy here as well means there's stiff competition. We keep challenging each other and that can only be good for us and for the team. I'm just going to keep pushing my case for selection and keep taking the opportunities I get."
Braid and O'Connor join All Blacks Jerome Kaino and Steven Luatua as flankers who are still under contract with the Blues.
After playing just one game last year as injury and illness scuppered his season, Bryn Hall was a revelation for the Blues in 2014, performing extremely well to usurp veteran All Black Piri Weepu as the number one halfback.
22-year-old Hall said he was thrilled to re-sign with the Blues.
"It's been a good learning experience this year," Hall said.
"Last year was really disappointing but coming into this season I had a strong mindset of trying to make the side and I was quite fortunate to get a few starts and then push on. Obviously it was pretty disappointing from a team point of view that we weren't able to achieve what we set out to but personally I feel I've become a much better player.
"I've always wanted to play for the Blues since I can remember and have always supported them. There's a great culture developing here and we've set some big goals for ourselves. We weren't able to achieve them this year but it's our motivation to return the Blues to where they need to be – at the top."
Frank Halai joins Charles Piutau and Lolagi Visinia as back three players who are under contract with the Blues and said he was keen to re-discover the form that saw him become an All Black in 2013.
"I'm really pleased to recommit to the Blues, it's a great team with a lot of good mates. I'm still very motivated to get back in the All Blacks and help lead the Blues to success next season."
The re-signing of these players is fantastic news for Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan.
"It's really good to re-sign Braidy and Brendon together, they're both outstanding young men and very good players," Kirwan said.
"We need to be able to play Brendon more so he gets more game time. He's a player with a big future in the Blues and with Braidy coming off his shoulder surgeries, we don't know if he'll be ready in time for the start of the season so it's a really important time for Brendon to get in there and really put pressure on us and Braidy.
"Bryn is also a great signing for us. He's been a real find this year but if you're behind the scenes and watching how hard he works on his game there's a reason why he's had success this year and we're looking for him to kick-on next season.
"I'm really excited about Frank. He had a great first year for us and is one of our attacking weapons. He's one of the most exciting athletes in our organisation so I'm looking forward to him scoring some more Blues tries in 2015."
The New Zealand junior rowers have just completed their eight week training block at Lake Karapiro, and the 21-strong squad is departing New Zealand for the Junior World Rowing Championships today. The junior team will compete from 6 - 10 August at Hamburg, Germany.
Four crews will represent New Zealand at the World Rowing Junior Championships including the women's quadruple scull, women's coxless four, men's coxed four and men's quadruple scull. This regatta offers a unique opportunity for aspiring junior rowers to compete in an environment similar to the elite World Cup and World Rowing Championship regattas.
The young New Zealand rowers will compete against 600 top junior athletes from 50 nations around the world at the championship regatta. To be a junior rower the athletes must be under 18 years of age to compete. Juniors can compete in the following boat classes: Men - single scull, double scull, coxless pair, quadruple scull, coxed four, coxless four and eights, and the junior women in the single scull, double scull, coxless pair, quadruple scull, coxless four and eights.
A smaller team of three athletes will go on to compete at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games after the junior world championships. The Youth Olympics will be held from 16 - 28 August and New Zealand will contest the women's pair and the men's single scull.
Hawkes Bay Junior rowers to attend Junior World Rowing Championships - Hamburg, Germany
Junior Men's Coxed Four - Edwin Laver (Napier Boys High School) and Tom Mackintosh (Lindisfarne College)
The NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team has ended the 2014 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships with a bronze medal and two more top eight performances.
The regatta, which challenged sailors with light and tricky conditions at times, concluded in Tavira, Portugal today.
Standing on the podium for New Zealand this year are Markus Somerville (Wakatere Boating Club) and Isaac McHardie (Wakatere Boating Club and Hamilton Yacht Club) who, despite the tricky conditions, have sailed consistently well across all five days of the regatta to secure the bronze medal in the 29er skiff class.
"We're happy, and relieved, to be on the podium tonight," says Markus Somerville.
In the 30-strong fleet the pair this year gathered no less than nine top six race finishes across the 13 race series. They shared the podium with France, who took the gold and USA who took the silver.
Both Somerville and McHardie now have two ISAF Youth Worlds medals in their trophy cupboard each having won a medal in 2013 as well. (McHardie in the multihull and Somerville in the 29er)
SL16 multihull pair Micah Wilkinson (Ngaroto Sailing Club) and Jack Rogers (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) finished strongly today to climb into 5th overall for a top five finish to the regatta.
After an average first day in the 57-strong boy's Laser radial fleet Trent Rippey improved his race results and his overall standing as the regatta unfolded and this continued through the final day. The Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club representative has finished 8th overall.
Murray's Bay Sailing Club windsurfer, Patrick Haybittle has come away from his first ISAF Youth worlds experience in 17th. He says, "It's been and excellent event and great learning curve. It has been frustratingly light, but great competition."
Also on debut at the ISAF Youth Worlds was girls' windsurfer Xanthe Bowater (Naval Point Club Lyttelton/Takapuna Boating Club) who returned consistent results throughout to end the series in 16th place.
Ali Nightingale, from Canterbury's Charteris Bay Yacht Club has ended the regatta in 23rd. She says; "I've learned heaps from my first ISAF Youth Worlds regatta, and I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Radial Youth Class World Champs in Poland next week."
In the boy's double-handed 420 classes Sam Barnett and Zak Merton, both from the Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club wrapped up the regatta in 17th overall and will go on to compete in their class world championships from here.
Sam Barnett says; "It's been a really tough week for us and we learned a lot which can only help us in the future. We are looking forward to the 420 Open Worlds in Travemunde next week where we'll be striving for a better result."
In the girl's 420 Olivia Mackay and Abby Goodwin (Napier Sailing Club) placed 18th overall ending the regatta on a high note with their best race of the regatta crossing the line in 3rd.
Team Manager Ian Neely echoes the sailor's comments, "It was a tough event in conditions we rarely sail in. The sailors all persevered and learnt a lot about how to sail in the soft breezes."
"It is fantastic for Isaac and Markus to win bronze and great to see many of the team performing so well at the end."
New Zealand was 10th in the standings for the Nation's Trophy, which was this year awarded to Spain.
- Napier Girls High School pair shine at U17 netball champs.
- Watch the Magpies take on Waikato in Napier
- Hawkes Bay cheerleaders reach for the stars in their bid to make it to Las Vegas.
- Hawkes Bay U17 lose in extra time at the National's in North Harbour.
- Central Futsal Hawkes Bay kick it to them at the Junior and Youth National's
- Robbie Fruean brings his midfield talents to Hawkes Bay
- Be Part of the Team Competition supports positive sideline behaviour in Hawkes Bay
- Hawke's Bay hockey girls beat Wanganui 1-0
- Hawkes Bay sports stars pack their bags for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
- Hawke's Bay's Tameifuna reaches near cult status for The Chiefs
- Hawkes Bay get your tickets now for the Fifa Under 20 World Cup in NZ
- A Hawkes Bay man embarks on another record chasing dive in the Bahamas
- Hawkes Bays own Ihaia West signs off with the Blues.
- Free Hawkes Bay Sport Talk Workshop
- Napier City Rovers Chris Greatholder was given a red card after swearing at a Canary
- Sport Hawkes Bay seek a committed trustee member.
- 2014 Rapha Women's 100 - Hawkes Bay Unplugged.
- The Hawkes Bay IMS Payroll Hawks go down to the Saints at the end of a superb season.
- Limber up in Hawkes Bay.
- Sport Hawke’s Bay and Te Timatanga Ararau Trust look towards the future.