Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough

Super Sunday only got better

- MAD BUTCHER

When Kiwi heavyweigh­t Joseph Parker was knocked down in seven seconds, before I had even had time to dunk my Gingernut, I thought I was going to have a terrible Sunday.

I should have had more faith. Joseph won a split decision over Brit Derek Chisora after working his way back into the fight in Manchester, although it is a win he might be feeling a bit lucky to have got.

The British media was none too impressed with the scorecards, but after 12 punishing rounds, I did have Jo ahead.

Most of the criticism has focused on the Polish judge scoring it 116-111 to our man – and it is hard to see how he arrived at that.

The Kiwi and British judges both scored it 115-113, the Brit for Chisora and the Kiwi for Parker.

I like Joseph and have known him for a long time, so I am biased, but I did think he was in control the longer the fight went.

Joseph gets endless criticism that he lacks the killer instinct the successful heavyweigh­ts have. Given what a quietly spoken fellah he is, that’s probably right.

And while we are talking about quietly spoken, Vodafone Warriors skipper Roger TuivasaShe­ck was back at fullback against the North Queensland Cowboys, the experiment of playing him on the wing to accommodat­e newcomer Rees Walsh abandoned.

Walsh moved to the centres and had another encouragin­g game but the old game of two halves cliche gave my ticker another workout.

Roger was anything but quietly spoken as the Warriors were put under constant secondhalf pressure by the Cowboys, having played them off the park in the first 40, to lead 24-4 at the break.

As good as we were in the first half, and we very good, we looked at times like we had no idea what was going on in the second spell, and you could see RTS barking out the orders.

By the time I had stopped telling the fans at Mt Smart who had gathered to watch the game on a big screen that we had nothing to worry about and to remain faithful, I was exhausted.

But we held on to deny the

Cowboys, winning 24-20 and leaping from 12th to seventh, improving to four wins and four losses.

It might have been tight, but it was a fine win given the inexperien­ce of our side, our right edge defence boasting Rocco Berry in his second game and Mangere East Hawks product Edward Kosi in his first.

They will get better, and we have to give them time under coach Nathan Brown.

All this came after Aotearoa Super Rugby’s final round, where the Hurricanes’ longsuffer­ing fans got to enjoy a win, their side finishing the year by beating the Highlander­s 41-22.

The Blues also won, beating the Chiefs 39-19, though the Chiefs were fielding a muchdimini­shed side given they had already secured a place in the final against the Crusaders.

I hark back to all the criticism Scott Robertson’s men were copping early in the season, apparently nothing like the sides of old, yet here they are where we usually see them, in the final.

If they weren’t already a scary enough propositio­n, they have added Argentina captain Pablo Matera to their side for next season. It hardly seems fair given the player roster they have. Still, all is fair in love and war as they say, so good luck to the bloke.

This weekend I’ll be tuning in to see that rugby final for sure, but I’ll also be hoping my Warriors can reverse their 13-12 loss to Manly from a few weeks ago when we meet again.

Since they beat us, the Sea Eagles have flogged the Tigers and Titans and looked good despite losing to Penrith at the weekend, but I suspect many fans will expect us to improve on what was a disappoint­ing showing last time out.

We owe them one so go the Vodafone Warriors.

 ??  ?? Joseph Parker takes an eight count in round one against Derek Chisora.
Joseph Parker takes an eight count in round one against Derek Chisora.
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