League leg­ends lunch­ing for world cup

Papakura Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

What a fan­tas­tic Rugby Cham­pi­onship test match in Cape Town last week­end, with the All Blacks win­ning the thriller 25-24 over the much-im­proved Spring­boks.

When you con­sider the Spring­boks coach Al­lis­ter Coet­zee was in all sorts of bother dur­ing the week lead­ing up for say­ing he did not be­lieve it was rea­son­able to ex­pect his play­ers to get up and beat our boys, af­ter they were ut­terly thrashed at North Har­bour Sta­dium last month, he is ei­ther a re­al­ist or a mo­ti­va­tional ge­nius, be­cause South Africa played out of their skins.

I love a great and tense game like that. To me that rugby test was far more en­joy­able than when we won 57-0.

And good luck to our Sil­ver Ferns net­ball team, who lost 60-52 in their Con­stel­la­tion Cup in­ter­na­tional on Sun­day, giv­ing the Aussies a 2-0 lead in the se­ries ahead of game three in Ade­laide tonight.

And yes it was a tough week for us Kiwi rugby league fans, but out of ev­ery neg­a­tive there is a pos­i­tive.

All the pub­lic­ity caused a spike in ticket sales, and the play­ers de­fect­ing from the Ki­wis to play for Tonga will make them a stronger propo­si­tion for the Rugby League World Cup, which kicks off in just over a fort­night.

All you New Zealand fans out there can show your sup­port for our Ki­wis team in three ways.

The first and most ob­vi­ous is to buy a ticket and be there to show your sup­port and cheer on the boys.

It’s re­ally af­ford­able be­cause there are tick­ets from just $20. You can grab tick­ets at the web­site www.rlwc2017.com.

If you can’t get to the world cup games to watch the ac­tion live, why not send the team an email ex­press­ing your best wishes. The ad­dress you nadene@nzrl.co.nz.

And the third way is to buy a ticket for the Ki­wis Lunch at the Eller­slie Events Cen­tre on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 27.

There are go­ing to be I do not know how many for­mer Ki­wis there, in­clud­ing some ab­so­lute leg­ends of the game, and tick­ets are just $100.

And that also in­cludes a ticket need is to the open­ing game the next day, New Zealand against Samoa at Mt Smart Sta­dium.

It is go­ing to be a huge event and where else could you go to get to rub shoul­ders with men such as 2008 Rugby League World Cup­win­ning coach Stephen Kear­ney, or Olsen Fili­paina, the man who paved the way for Ki­wis to play and ex­cel in the NRL across the Tas­man.

The list of for­mer Ki­wis at­tend­ing reads like a who’s who of our game, with guys like Richie Black­more, Brent Webb, Richie Bar­nett, Paul Rauhihi, Fred Ah Kuoi, Taw­era Nikau, Nathan Cay­less, Graeme West and many oth­ers.

One man who won’t be there is Ray Cranch, the old­est liv­ing for­mer Kiwi.

He can’t make it but he was on hand on Sun­day at the Kiwi As­so­ci­a­tion re­union, which was an ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic day, and Ray gave a speech that was sim­ply out­stand­ing.

We will miss him at Eller­slie Events Cen­tre for sure, but a great event is guar­an­teed all the same.

Speak­ing of guar­an­tees, to make sure you don’t miss out on one of rugby league’s events of the year, visit the web­site www.eller­slie.co.nz, or call Char­lotte on 09 522 3824.

MARK NOLAN / GETTY IMAGES

North Queens­land Cow­boys star Ja­son Tau­malolo played for Tonga in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, and will again this year, af­ter be­ing con­sid­ered for se­lec­tion for the Ki­wis.

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