Posts Tagged ‘Auckland’
Auckland, Dec 6 (IANS) Australia thrashed Pakistan 6-1 with captain Jamie Dwyer scoring a hat-trick while hosts New Zealand drew 3-3 with the Netherlands after a sensational day of action at the Owen G. Glenn FIH Champions Trophy hockey here.
Spain, too, produced a stellar performance to defeat Great Britain 8-1 in their final Pool A encounter. It was a magnificent display from the Spanish, who came back from 0-1 down to score four times in either half to seal their place in championship pool along with New Zealand, Australia, and the Netherlands.
Australia continued their great form making it three wins in a row. Dwyer opened the scoring the 22nd minute when his speculative cross within the circle was inadvertently diverted into his own net by Pakistan keeper Salman Akbar. Their advantage was doubled four minutes from the end of the half when Eddie Ockenden lashed home a powerful reverse stick effort to provide some breathing space.
Australia blasted out of the blocks in the second half, laying siege to the Pakistan goal. Luke Doerner brought a good save from Akbar from a penalty corner, but when a second was awarded Doerner was on target to give Australia a 3-0 lead.
Dwyer then claimed his second of the game with a sublime touch on a cross from the left before completing his hat-trick was a calm finish from close range. Mark Patterson crashed home a sixth from a tight angle before Asian Games champion Pakistan scored a consolation goal in the 6th minute thanks to a penalty corner from Muhammad Zubair.
Dwyer took his tournament tally to six. The Kookaburras will go into next phase as winners of Pool A and will take some stopping in the Championship stages.
New Zealand fought back to claim a memorable draw with The Netherlands, a result which put both teams through to Pool C, the Championship Pool.
The Black Sticks fans turned up in their droves to North Harbour hockey stadium.
The Netherlands were superb in the first half and silenced the home crowd with two incredible goals. Billy Bakker turned his marker inside out before cracking home a powerful reverse stick shot in the 28th minute. Jeroen Hertzberger doubled the advantage a minute later with a ferocious drive into the top corner of Kyle Pontifex’s net.
Penalty corner ace Taeke Taekema made the score 3-0 in the 48th minute.
New Zealand then fought back. Goals from Blair Hilton (53rd), Phil Burrows (55th) and a dramatic penalty stroke from captain Dean Couzins two minutes from the end gave New Zealand the draw.
The key moment arrived when Simon Child found a Dutch foot on the goal-line with a penalty corner being upgraded to a penalty flick following an excellent video referral. Team captain Dean Couzins emphatically slammed the ball into the net to send the home crowd into raptures.
In another match, Korea fought back from 2-0 down to hold Germany 3-3. But both failed to move to the next phase.
Auckland, Dec 6 (IANS) New Zealand Cricket (NZC) Tuesday confirmed the appointment of former Test batsman-turned-rugby union administrator David White as its new chief executive.
White will begin his tenure as chief executive Feb 1, 2012, replacing Justin Vaughan, who had served as CEO since 2007.
White, 50, will be leading NZC in the build-up to the 2015 Cricket World Cup to be co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
White represented New Zealand as an opener in two Tests and three ODIs on their tour to Pakistan in 1990.
‘The board of NZC is delighted to have secured the services of such an experienced sports administrator as David,’ NZC chairman Chris Moller was quoted saying by New Zealand Herald.
‘In addition, it is a bonus that David has represented New Zealand in cricket and played for Northern Districts for 15 years, including being captain for two seasons.’
Auckland, Nov 21 (IANS) Former New Zealand batsman Martin Crowe’s return to first class cricket ended disastrously as the 49-year-old pulled his thigh muscle after just three deliveries.
Crowe had taken the cricketing world by surprise when he announced his comeback to first class cricket in New Zealand after a 16 year sabbatical.
In 1995, Crowe called time on a prolific career after a chronic knee injury took toll on his body. Crowe played 77 Tests and 143 ODIs for the black caps scoring 5,444 Test runs and his 17 centuries are still the most scored by a New Zealander in Tests.
But with Saturday’s pulled muscle being his fourth in as many months, Crowe said it was time to admit the dream was over.
‘While getting off the mark yesterday, I pulled a thigh muscle running a normal single into the covers. So three balls into my first premier match back, it’s over,’ Crowe said in an email sent to the media.
‘It was sort of fun along the way. I got to hit lots of balls over five months, experiencing the joy of batting again. But as soon as it required the important running bit, the old problems kicked in,’ Crowe was quoted as saying in New Zealand media.
‘No regrets,’ he said.
Auckland, Oct 23 (IANS) New Zealand’s All Blacks pulled off a historic 8-7 victory over France Sunday to take the Rugby World Cup for the first time in 24 years.
For the home team it was undoubtedly the biggest game of their lives — a chance to hold aloft the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time since they last held it after the very first Rugby World Cup final against France in 1987.
The French had derailed New Zealand’s championship dreams twice before in 1999 and 2007 — and they came within one point of thwarting the All Blacks’ ambitions again on Sunday.
Nerves were showing on the pitch in the first half at Auckland’s Eden Park and the All Blacks’ Piri Weepu missed opportunities for eight points, sending two penalties and a conversion wide of the posts, Xinhua reported.
The French put on a determined face from the start, lining up in a V-formation and marching forward as the All Blacks performed their traditional pre-match haka.
But Les Bleus conceded the first penalty for being offside at a ruck in the sixth minute, leaving Weepu to miss the first of his kicks.
The crunching tackles that marked the match claimed their first casualty after 11 minutes when French fly half Morgan Parra left the field shaking his head and bloodied after a double blow from Ma’a Nonu and Richie McCaw, to be replaced by Francois Trinh-Duc.
The home team opened the scoring four minutes later when prop Tony Woodcock snaffled the ball from a lineout within the French 22-meter line and charged through their defence to touch down.
However, Weep was wide again with the conversion.
Parra, who had returned to the pitch after six minutes on the sidelines, suffered another battering shortly after and came off for the rest of the match, visibly upset, as Trinh-Duc took his place.
France, under pressure, incurred another penalty after 25 minutes, but Weepu again failed to find his target.
The All Blacks continued a running onslaught on the French line, failing to make any breakthroughs until wing Richard Kahui kicked through after 30 minutes, but the follow-up was too slow and French center Aurelien Rougerie dived on the ball.
Aaron Cruden — New Zealand’s third choice fly half after injuries claimed Dan Carter and then Colin Slade — was escorted off the pitch with a knee injury to be replaced by Stephen Donald.
France attempted to grab some points when Trinh-Duc went for a long-distance drop goal on 36 minutes, but it veered wide of the post.
Trinh-Duc again showed his dangerous side, snatching the ball and running to the All Black line to be brought down by Weepu getting a hand to his ankles, leaving the score at 5-0.
France almost got on the board two minutes into the second half, when New Zealand captain McCaw incurred a penalty by putting his hands in the ruck, but French scrum half Dmitri Yachvili put the ball wide.
Donald was kicking for the All Blacks when New Zealand won a penalty in front of the posts two minutes later, putting the home side 8-0 up.
Trinh-Duc, who had been menacing the All Blacks’ line, finally broke through allowing the French to batter at the All Blacks’ defense until captain Thierry Dusautoir eventually pressed it over the line.
Trinh-Duc’s conversion put the score at 8-7 and within one more score of victory.
With the pressure mounting, New Zealand coach Graham Henry sent in fresh blood, taking off Weepu for Andy Ellis, replacing hooker Keven Mealamu with Andrew Hore, and Sam Whitelock with Ali Williams in the second row.
The French stepped up the pressure with 15 minutes on the clock and eventually found a chance to snatch victory from a penalty from 48 meters, but Trinh-Duc’s kick was wide of the posts.
The All Blacks withstood the French until the final whistle.
For New Zealand it was the culmination of years of preparation and anticipation for a tournament that has kept much of the country rapt for the last 40 days.
Auckland, Oct 21 (IANS) Australia’s Wallabies took the bronze medal at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand Friday after a tough and scrappy 21-18 victory over fellow semifinal losers Wales.
The two teams both took to the Eden Park pitch with the intention of taking home the consolation third place after Australia were beaten by the All Blacks Sunday and Wales suffered a one-point defeat to France the day before.
The Wallabies showed flashes of their daring, running play and inside centre Berrick Barnes opened the scoring in the 11th minute after taking a running pass from flyhalf Quade Cooper, Xinhua reported.
With the score at 7-0, Wales flyhalf James Hook managed to slot through a penalty incurred by the Australian scrum.
Australia suffered the first of two major blows in the first half with Kurtley Beale coming off with a knee injury after colliding with number 8 Ben McCalman.
The second came when Cooper also suffered match-ending knee injury after an awkward change of direction and, after the match, hobbled up to the medal podium on crutches with his right knee in a brace.
The teams went into the break with the score at 7-3.
Wales snatched a brief lead when halfback Mike Phillips grabbed the ball in a ruck and ran sideways before booting through to Hook, who picked it and passed to wing Shane Williams, who put it over the line for 8-7.
The Wallabies changed tactics to take points where they could get them, with wing James O’Connor slotting through two penalties and Barnes snatching a drop goal to regain the lead with a score of 16-8.
With seven minutes to go, the Australians resumed running the ball with O’Connor offloading to Adam Ashley-Cooper, who was brought down within a meter of the tryline by Welsh wing George North.
Hook’s replacement Stephen Jones put through a second penalty for Wales and the Wallabies renewed their attack with McCalman eventually finding open ground to break over the tryline, putting the score at 21-11.
Fullback Leigh Halfpenny pulled off a remarkable try just before the final whistle after a five-minute onslaught that went through 34 phases of possession.
It was rounded off by a conversion by Jones leaving the final score at 21-18.
All eyes now are on the grand final here Sunday when France, hosts of 2007 tournament, take on the home team.
Auckland, Oct 16 (IANS) The All Blacks put up a stellar show in the home of New Zealand rugby Sunday, defeating traditional rivals Australia 20-6 to secure their place in the World Cup final where they face France.
The match got off to a furious and bruising start at the Eden Park here, with New Zealand forwards leading a dominating performance, snaffling loose balls and overpowering the Wallabies in the scrum.
In front of a crowd of more than 60,000, Quade Cooper’s opening kick for Australia went out on the full, leading to a scrum that allowed the All Blacks’ Piri Weepu to slot the ball back down to the Australian corner, Xinhua reported.
The All Blacks piled on the pressure in the Wallabies’ half before Israel Dagg made a breakthrough run in the sixth minute, offloading to Ma’a Nonu, who put the ball down over the line for the only try of the match. Weepu missed the conversion.
Weepu, whose kicking sealed the defeat of Argentina the previous weekend, failed again when a penalty kick hit the post three minutes later, bouncing back to the All Blacks.
An Aaron Cruden run ended in another penalty when Australia’s David Pocock was caught failing to support his weight in the ruck, allowing Weepu to make amends and slot the ball through to make it 8-0.
Australia finally penetrated the New Zealand half when wing Digby Ioane dragged a squad of black defenders deep into their own territory, before Jerome Kaino finally brought him down within a meter of the try line.
All Black captain Richie McCaw incurred a penalty shortly after and James O’Connor’s kick put Australia on the board.
Weepu missed a third penalty kick given when Sekope Kepu collapsed the scrum.
However, a 40-meter drop goal from Cruden after 22 minutes took the score to 11-3.
A sustained counter attack from the Wallabies took them close to the New Zealand line, but to no avail, so scrum half Will Genia eventually moved the ball to Cooper, who put through a drop goal to make it 11-6.
Adam Ashley-Cooper was caught offside in the 36th minute and Weepu’s penalty kick extended the All Blacks’ lead to 14-6 going into the break.
Weepu put the ball through the posts again two minutes into the second half after Pat McCabe failed to release the ball from a tackle.
Down 17-6, Australia mounted a sustained offensive, battering away at the All Blacks’ defence before finally losing possession.
Weepu was replaced by Andy Ellis in the 57th minute, but returned for a cameo just 12 minutes later when Ellis came off with a bloodied nose.
His return coincided with the culmination of a series of Australian mistakes, allowing Weepu to make the final score with a 35-meter penalty kick in the 72nd minute.
Cooper recovered his confidence after his disastrous start, but too late to capitalise on some strong running and improved kicking.
Replacement New Zealand wing Sonny Bill Williams was shown the yellow card in the 76th minute for putting his shoulder into a tackle, leaving the All Blacks a man short and under sustained pressure for the final minutes.
The All Blacks will face off in their first Rugby World Cup final since 1995 here Oct 23, while Australia will battle for third place against fellow semi-finalists Wales on Oct 21.
Auckland, Oct 15 (IANS) France booked their place in the final of the Rugby World Cup with a nail-biting 9-8 victory over Wales here Saturday.
A strong start by Wales was negated when captain Sam Warburton was shown the red card 18 minutes into the first half at the Eden Park.
A downpour before kick-off ensured both sides were struggling with their handling of the ball, but Wales opened the scoring after seven minutes when James Hook slotted through a penalty from wide on the left, Xinhua reported.
A calf injury to the experienced Welsh prop Adam Jones shortly after, got Paul James on the field.
Hook’s kicking went awry for the rest of the half with his next penalty attempt in front of the posts falling wide.
Wales came close to a try in the 15th minute, but a pass from center Jamie Roberts went into the face of Jonathan Davies as they battled within the French 22 meter line.
But it was Warburton’s a crunching tip tackle on French wing Vincent Clerc that resulted in Wales’ biggest handicap, when referee Alain Rolland sent him off for the rest of the match, leaving his team a man down.
Wales’ weakened scrum incurred a penalty after 21 minutes, allowing Morgan Parra to equalise, and it was another penalty kick by Parra on 33 minutes that put France 6-3 up at the interval.
After the restart, Wales took Hook off in the 45th minute, hoping the veteran boot of replacement Stephen Jones would help claw back their lead.
However, it was Parra’s boot that was to decide the game in the second half, despite an early bid for a drop goal failing to find the target.
A third penalty allowed Parra to make amends, taking the French lead to 9-3.
A desperate fight from under-strength Wales took the French by surprise when scrum half Mike Phillips snatched the ball and fended off French defenders in a 20-meter sprint to the try line.
Jones failed to make the conversion, leaving the score at 9-8.
With Wales seeking a single score for an historic victory, they piled on the pressure and attempted to get in position for a drop goal.
Their best chance of changing their fortunes was squandered when full back Leigh Halfpenny missed a penalty taken from the halfway line five minutes before the end by the thinnest of margins.
The French defence held against a series of battering charges until Wales finally lost possession and their opponents put the ball into touch, triggering the final whistle.
France will play the winner of Sunday’s Australia-New Zealand in the final here Oct 23 while Wales will play the loser to decide the third place.
Auckland, Oct 13 (IANS) Robo-bar staff, even robo-sex and hotel rooms that change colour, could be commonplace in future travel scenario.
Tourism futurologist Ian Yeoman from University of Wellington, New Zealand, said that by 2050 mass tourism would spawn a range of new indoor tourism products.
It would include indoor artificial ski centres, circuses, zoos, golf courses and recreated landscapes, as well as giant cruise ships, according to a Wellington statement.
Even robot ‘prostitutes” that would not pass on diseases such as HIV could make an appearance, said Yeoman.
Tourism operators could turn to robots as cheap labour. For instance, robo-waiters at cocktail bars, remote-controlled camera-carrying guard dogs in hotel lobbies and self-cleaning hotel rooms were all likely, said Yeoman.
‘Robotics will become important, because you’re going to have labour shortages in the future,’he said, adding ‘But you’re talking about extreme futures.’
Yeoman said technology would also revolutionise hotel bedrooms, with beds that sensed a guest’s comfort needs and chemical wallpaper that could change colour to suit a guest’s mood.
Of course, special pills could override a traveller’s need for sleep. ‘If you look at some of the research from the US Army Research Centre, what they do at the moment, when soldiers go into battle, they’re given sleep deprivation tablets,’ he said.
‘To a certain extent you could replicate that into travel and tourism, taking a tablet to do a 24-hour experience,’ added Yeoman. These findings were presented at a tourism conference.
Auckland, July 26 (IANS) Do not destroy the grounds protected by the ‘monster’, New Zealand’s indigenous people told the government and asked it to stop work on a $2 billion railway project.
Horotiu – a mythical swamp monster or ‘taniwha’ – hides under the city of Auckland, according to the Maori Statutory Board.
The board has protested against the 2.6 billion New Zealand dollars ($2.1 billion) project, saying it will destroy the grounds once patrolled by the taniwha, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported.
The project in Auckland is aimed at improving the minimal train network and free the city’s car-filled streets.
Glenn Wilcox, a member of the Maori Statutory Board, said the project did not take into account the monster, which ‘was here first’.
The taniwha is a mythical protector with a powerful role in Maori folklore, but get it angry and you are in trouble, Wilcox said.
‘As kaitiaki – or guardians – they protect people, but they also get up and bite you if they do not like what you are doing,’ he said.
This is not the first time a taniwha has threatened to stall a project in the country.
In 2002, construction of a road between Auckland and Hamilton was halted after protesters complained it was cutting through the domain of a ‘revered one-eye taniwha’.
The taniwha was thought to be responsible for a number of deaths on the road.
Ranginui Walker, a Maori elder, said: ‘You have to placate local demons, deities, taniwha. Don’t tempt fate.’
Auckland, July 2 (IANS) A New Zealand man is asking people to help break the world record for the largest group hug.
More than 10,000 people are needed to break the record currently held by Alba Iulia in Romania, the New Zealand Herald reported Saturday.
Organiser Andrew Male, from Christchurch, said on Facebook: ‘This will be a symbol of something very special — home, pride, national identity, call it what you will — it will be moving and wonderful event.’
The Facebook page has 4,900 people signed up as attending. An application has been sent to Guinness World Records, Male said.
The event will be held on the anniversary of a series of quakes that began in September last year, killing over 180 people.
Auckland, Feb 15 – The fatal stabbing of taxi driver Hiren Mohini in New Zealand’s Auckland city has prompted the Indian community here to demand that their workplaces be made safer.
Auckland taxi driver Hiren Mohini, 39, was repeatedly stabbed by a passenger Jan 31 following which his taxi collided with a tree in Mount Eden.
New Zealand Herald reported Monday that Auckland’s Indian community was demanding action to ensure members of the community were safe.
‘This is the seventh tragedy that has struck our community,’ Ashokbhai Gaiwala of the NZ Indian Central Association was quoted as saying.
The other cases of Indians being killed include that of liquor store owner Navtej Singh who was shot dead in 2008 and the road-rage attack on elderly Jasmatbhai Patel in Mt Albert early last year.
Shopkeepers Navin Govind, Shiv Prasad, Bhagubhai Vaghela and Krisna Naidu were also killed in their workplaces.
Gaiwala said at a meeting of community members and civic leaders: ‘We are here to show our united support that we, the Indian community, totally condemn this brutality against an innocent person who is going about his work to make an honest living for his family.’
Ethnic Affairs Minister Pansy Wong and Labour leader Phil Goff were present at the meeting held Sunday.
‘If you stab a taxi driver you are hunted down and you go to jail for the rest of your life. For too long we have been gutless,’ Auckland City Mayor John Banks was quoted as saying.
Auckland, Feb 10 – A team from India will visit New Zealand in April to hold talks for a free trade agreement (FTA), said Indian High Commissioner Admiral (retd) Sureesh Mehta Wednesday.
Mehta said the FTA with India would be hugely beneficial to both countries.
‘New Zealand’s exports to India are across a narrow range of goods. There is a lot of scope to diversify that range and it will be important to do so,’ he said on the eve of the launch of the India-New Zealand Business Council’s Auckland chapter.
He stressed that there was a lot of potential to increase cross border investment as well as services exports and it is essential that negotiations cover these areas.
India-New Zealand Business Council chairperson Wenceslaus Anthony said the council was looking forward to continuing the momentum which has been developing in recent months towards India.
Anthony said ‘we help raise awareness of the business community throughout New Zealand to the importance of India to our future economic prosperity’.
‘I hope that the setting up of regional chapters will be the first of a number of innovative steps that the council can take in coming years to raise its profile, and to increase acceptance by the New Zealand business community of the importance that India should hold in their forward planning,’ said Anthony.