Home' Northern Outlook : August 17th 2013 Contents 19
NORTHERN OUTLOOK, AUGUST 17, 2013
Team fall short of making plate section final
By MAT KERMEEN
RANGIORA HIGH School's first
XV rugby team fell five points
short of a place in the plate sec-
tion final of The Press Cup, when
it suffered a 3-8 loss to Waimea
College in Nelson last weekend.
It was Rangiora's second trip to
Waimea College after being
beaten 17-5 in the round robin
Rangiora started strong last
Saturday, and created several
scoring opportunities, but each
time was repelled by strong
defence or attacking errors.
Against the run of play, Wai-
mea collected three points with its
first foray into Rangiora territory.
Waimea continued to defend
desperately as Rangiora poured
on the pressure but could not con-
vert it into points.
With a one man advantage
because of Rangiora's Jag Love
being sin binned, Waimea crossed
the try line first to take an 8-0
The second half was more of the
same, with the visitors unable to
crack Waimea's defence.
Rangiora finally got on the
score sheet with a penalty, and
with 10 minutes to play it had the
chance to win the match with a
converted try. But Waimea's
defence was up to the challenge
and held strong to end the North
Canterbury side's season.
What a comeback for Cooper
On top: Anton Cooper never looked
back once he hit the front in Mont
PHOTO: MARIUS MAASEWERD
WOODEND MOUNTAIN bike
star Anton Cooper earned prob-
ably his most satisfying ever
birthday present last weekend.
The North Canterbury rider
scorched his opposition with a
record breaking victory in the UCI
under-23 mountain bike world cup
in Mont Sainte Anne, Canada.
He won in a time of 1:17.53, a
minute clear of his nearest rival.
Cooper, who turned 19 on
Sunday, celebrated a remarkable
recovery from a debilitating virus
that had kept him out of compe-
tition since he fell ill during his
under-23 World Cup debut in Ger-
many in May.
The current junior (under-19)
mountain bike world champion
said the win was a huge confi-
dence boost after a rough couple of
months out with illness.
It's really tough to find your-
self in the position of being really
ill,'' Cooper said.
I know it's something every
athlete faces at some stage in
their career but it was a new pos-
ition for me.''
After falling ill, he remained at
his base in Germany for a month,
but when he failed to respond to
treatment, returned to his home
He returned to Europe last
month and raced in a world cup
round in Andorra where he fin-
ished 18th after limited prep-
With two extra weeks training
he was confident it would be a
different story in Mont Sainte
I woke up in the morning feel-
ing good and I felt that something
special might happen, but I didn't
want to believe it until I crossed
Cooper's victory is thought to
make him the youngest ever rider
to win a UCI under-23 World Cup
I can't tell you how much it
means. To get a result like this
means so much after all this hard
work to get back in shape.''
Cooper has returned to his Ger-
man base to finalise his prepara-
tions for the UCI world champion-
ships in South Africa in two
weeks, but the support from his
family and friends is not far from
It really means a lot to me and
I want to thank everyone for stick-
ing by me through thick and thin.
It's good to be back on track.''
North Canterbury will also be
represented in South Africa by the
Oliver brothers Craig and Ben,
who will race in the junior under-
19 section that Oliver won last
Crushing third loss
By MAT KERMEEN
OFF LOAD: Chase Williams throws a flick pass out to his support. CRUNCH TACKLE: Nathaniel Tirikatene is collared by a Papanui tackler. PHOTOS: VICTOR PAUL
NORTHERN BULLDOGS suf-
fered its third consecutive defeat
in Gore Cup grand finals on
Saturday, a tight 16-22 loss to the
The heartbreaking result in the
bottom four plate competition fol-
lows defeats in 2011 and
After leading 22-18 at halftime
at Crosbie Park, the Bulldogs dis-
appointed in the second half.
Basic errors and a tiring
defence gave Papanui the chance
to overhaul the slim lead.
Two of the Bulldogs most con-
sistent and hardest working
players scored first half tries.
Crafty halfback Duane Wineti
and prop Anthony Bergman have
both enjoyed strong seasons.
The latter was singled out by
team manager Nicky Churton as a
revelation on and off the field
since switching codes from rugby
over the summer.
At the other end of the age spec-
trum, 17-year-old Logan Winter
and 19-year-old Nick Wain were
the other two try scorers.
Winter, Wain and 19-year-old
Chase Williams were once again
outstanding on Saturday -- as they
have been for much of the season
against older and bigger oppon-
Churton praised the efforts of
forwards Bergman, Dean Towart,
Ihaia Pihema, Lucuster Mati and
Winter for their tireless workload
in Saturday's loss. In the earlier
match, the Northern Bulldogs 17
years' side went down 36-38 in its
sudden death semifinal against
Linwood after a late comeback fell
The 13 years' Bulldogs team
plays its grand final at 10am
today against Halswell at Leslie
Park in Hornby.
There has been some good news
for the club this week, with prem-
ier players Chris Keane, Josh
Reuben, Williams, Mati and Berg-
man named in the Canterbury
Bulls and Canterbury training
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