E T

Sport I 13
The Epoch Times
July 18–24, 2007
Hockeyroos let third match slip to Japan
Australia and Japan drew 3–3
in the third women’s hockey
Test in Melbourne on Sunday
July 15 to leave Australia with
a 2–0 lead in the six-match
series.
After scoring twice in
the first ten minutes, the
Hockeyroos began to tire,
three games in four days taking
its toll, and let the disciplined
Japanese team back into the
match.
Nikki Hudson got Australia
rolling when she was given
too much room at the top of
the circle, her strike with too
much heat for the keeper in
the seventh minute.
Two minutes later it was 2–0
when Megan Rivers scored her
second goal in two games after
deflecting a long baseline pass
from Lambert into the net.
Japan got one back in the
13th minute through Miyuki
Nakagawa, but the lead was
soon back out to two shortly
after when Emily Halliday
struck through a penalty
corner just before half-time.
At 3–1 up the Hockeyroos
were in a great position and
had some good opportunities
to extend that lead, but Japan
rallied, piling on two unanswered goals as they ran over
the top of the home team.
They scored the first from
a penalty corner, while the
equaliser came in the 63rd
minute from a well scrapped
goal from Sakae Morimoto.
“I was disappointed with
the performance today,”
said Australian coach Frank
Murray.
“We were quite tired and flat
I thought. We got a couple of
goals early, but then just got
tired. Players weren’t presenting, or running, and our skills
let us down. You just can’t play
like that against a good team
like Japan.”
On Saturday July 14 the
Australians won 3–1 in game
two.
The Hockeyroos will use
the last three Tests of their
current series against Japan,
which they lead 2–0 after two
wins and a draw in the opening
three matches, to prepare for
the trip to Beijing.
The squad for that tournament, from August 8 to August
13, was announced Monday.
After the Good Luck Beijing
Tournament, the Australians
return here for September
Olympic qualification matches
in Queensland against New
Zealand, Papua New Guinea
and Fiji.
Team: Nicole Arrold (ACT),
Teneal Attard (QLD), Madonna
Blyth (QLD), Toni Cronk
(NSW), Emily Halliday (WA),
Kate Hollywood (NSW), Nikki
Hudson (QLD), Rachel Imison
(VIC), Angie Lambert (QLD),
Shelly Liddelow (WA), Hope
Munro (WA), Megan Rivers
(NSW), Rebecca Sanders
(NSW), Emma Stewart (QLD),
Sarah Taylor (ACT), Renee
Trost (VIC), Melanie Twitt
(NSW), Kim Walker (WA).
AAP
Without
Lockyer, but
don’t write
off Broncos
Former Brisbane captains
Allan Langer and Gorden
Tallis have warned against
writing off Brisbane’s NRL
premiership chances without
inspirational leader Darren
Lockyer.
The former premiership
winners said the road would
be tough without Lockyer, but
not impossible.
Statistics revealed on
Sunday showed Brisbane’s
success rate plummeted from
65.8 per cent to just 41 per
cent when Lockyer wasn’t on
the field.
“It’s up to the forwards to
give whoever fills Locky’s boots
an opportunity,” Tallis said.
Obviously, losing a player
like Lockyer makes it really
hard, but I wouldn’t write
them off.”
Bookmakers, punters and
fans alike, however, have done
just that.
They believe Brisbane
face a “mission impossible”
assignment without Lockyer
after scans at the weekend
confirmed Lockyer’s 2007
season was finished.
The champion five-eighth
ruptured the anterior cruciate
ligament in his right knee late
in Brisbane’s 24–16 win over
North Queensland on Friday
night July 13. The match was
his record-breaking 275th
appearance for the club.
He’ll undergo a full knee
reconstruction next week
under the watchful eye of
leading specialist Dr Peter
Myers and faces nine months
of rehabilitation.
Langer, a member of
Brisbane’s first two premiership wins in 1992–93 and
a veteran of 228 games in a
career that stretched over 15
years, said losing Lockyer left
a “huge hole”.
“Brisbane have been playing
very well at the moment and
it’s a challenge for all the
players to do something
special,” he said.
Tallis, who played 169 games
and featured in three premiership wins for the club, said
Lockyer’s amazing courage
and refusal to let his team-
Sidelined…It’s not “mission impossible”, said former Broncos greats after Brisbane lost their leader, Darren Lockyer, to a
serious injury.
Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
mates down had ultimately
cost him dearly.
“He’s far too tough for his
own good; he should have
come off when he hurt it the
first time,” Tallis said.
“But his side was in trouble
and he was thinking about
his team-mates instead of
himself.
“There’s only a few guys in
the Broncos tough enough
to do that, like Petero
[Civoniceva].
“That’s why you love playing
with some guys and why
Darren is such a wonderful
leader.
“It typified what he was
prepared to do for his mates.”
Sport Briefs
A-League pre-season
Cup results: Soccer
Grand Final replay a
draw
Defending A-League
champions Melbourne
Victory have started their pre
season Cup campaign with
a 1–1 draw with Adelaide
United at Launceston’s Aurora
Stadium.
Travis Dodd put Adelaide
ahead in the ninth minute,
but Daniel Allsopp equalised
in the 77th minute.
In other opening rounds
games, Perth beat Newcastle
1–0 in Port Macquarie,
Central Coast defeated
Wellington Phoenix 2–0 in
Gosford and Queensland Roar
and Sydney SC drew 0–0 in
Maroochydore.
Australia not bidding
for 2010 Youth
Olympics
The Australian Olympic
Committee has decided not to
bid to host the inaugural Youth
Olympic Games in 2010.
The timetable made
it difficult to secure the
necessary venues, the AOC
said in a statement released
on Friday.
“The main obstacle is that
the Games have been set
down to take place for eleven
to twelve days of competition during the 2nd, 3rd or
4th weeks of August and that
international standard venues
would have to be provided for
all of the 26 sports that are on
the London 2012 program,”
AOC president John Coates
said.
“After we have experienced
the first Youth Olympic Games
we can review the decision.”
Fed Cup results:
Australian tennis
loses to Ukraine
Australia ended a disastrous
weekend losing their Fed Cup
women’s dead rubber doubles
match against Ukraine on
Sunday on the Gold Coast.
concept to us is exciting.”
“Tasmanians, population
480,000, are more supportive of AFL...per capita than
any other community in
Australia.
“They are rabid followers of
the AFL and if there was an
opportunity for us, if we were
in the position to be playing a
final in Tasmania, we’d love to
do it for the Tasmanians.
“We should never lose sight
of the fact that for this game
to grow it requires...as many
people [as possible] to have a
touch-point.”
The Hawks already play
four home and away matches
per season at Aurora Stadium
and have the Tasmanian
Government as their major
sponsor.
While capacity at the
few years of football will be
absolutely red hot,” he said.
Tallis said Brisbane had
been presented with a
wonderful challenge and called
on the club’s forwards to lead
the way.
“As a player, I’d really look
forward to it,” he said.
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Nicole Pratt of Australia at the Fed Cup 2007.
Australia lost the tennis tie
against Ukraine – an emphatic
4–1 victory – following Nicole
Pratt’s straight-sets defeat to
Alona Bondarenko.
A determined Pratt fought
hard against the world No.22
in a gutsy display but still fell
short 7–5, 6–4 at Royal Pines
Resort.
Bondarenko’s victory
handed Ukraine an unassailable 3–0 lead in the best-of-five
Getty Images
tie and secured their place in
the World II group.
Alicia Molik and Rennae
Stubbs went down to Kateryna
Bondarenko and Yulia
Beygelzimer 2–6, 6–3, 6–3 in
the dead doubles rubber.
Australia, which lost both
their singles matches, have
been relegated to the AsiaOceania zonal competition.
Tasmanian ground is only
about 22,000, Kennett said
some finals in Melbourne,
involving a non-Victorian
team, had drawn small
crowds.
Most notably, just 25,195
watched the Kangaroos play
Port Adelaide in an elimination final at Telstra Dome in
2005.
“Therefore, if it was ever
to arise that there was an
opportunity to play a final in
Tasmania, I think it would be
wonderful for the Tasmanian
community and certainly
would reinforce the importance of our relationship with
Tasmania, as they’re now a
major sponsor,” he said.
“What happens, time will
tell; obviously, that won’t be
decided until much closer to
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Hawks keen on Tasmanian final
Hawthorn president Jeff
Kennett said at a pre-match
function that the AFL club
would love to host a final in
Tasmania this season.
Ahead of Saturday’s MCG
clash, where Hawthorn
defeated Richmond (19.15.129
11.10.76), returning the
Hawks to second spot on the
ladder and keeping them in a
strong position for a premiership tilt, the club president
was excited at the prospect of
a Tasmanian final.
Kennett said that while
the AFL decides the venues
for finals matches, the
Hawks would support the
idea of playing a home final
at Launceston’s Aurora
Stadium.
“Obviously, this is not
something we control, but the
Tallis tipped Lockyer would
burst back to football next year
refreshed and claimed that
his injury, while shattering,
may yet prove a “blessing in
disguise” given the amount of
football he’s played in recent
years.
“I think when Darren has
the break, refreshes, his last
the end of the season when
the make-up of the final eight
is known to us all.”
Hosting a final in Tasmania
would be sure to anger many
Hawks’ fans in Melbourne,
with the club having not
contested a finals series since
2001.
In that year, they played
two finals in Melbourne, with
32,910 attending an elimination final against Sydney at
Telstra Dome and 86,468
watching them play Essendon
in a preliminary final at the
MCG.
Kennett said of the divide
between the Hawks’ two home
bases: “Our loyalty and our
heart in many senses is still
in Hawthorn, but our opportunity is in Tasmania.”
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Boomers’ “last
hurrah”?
A final shot at Olympic glory
is the driving force behind a
handful of veteran Australian
basketballers desperate to
ensure the Boomers qualify
for Beijing next year.
An 18-man Boomers squad
has gathered on the Gold
Coast to prepare for next
month’s crunch Olympic
qualifying series against New
Zealand.
Veterans Jason Smith, Sam
Mackinnon, Glen Saville and
Darnell Mee are hell-bent
on defeating the Tall Blacks
in a three-game series in
Melbourne, Sydney and
Brisbane from August 20 to
August 24 to book a passage
to Beijing.
For these players, it will
be their last opportunity to
clinch an elusive Olympic
medal before they retire from
international basketball.
“We’ve got four or five guys
and it’s their last hurrah,”
two-time Olympian Smith
said last Friday.
“It’s their last shot to make
it so there is no tomorrow.
There’s plenty of personal
motivation – player’s national
pride aside, a loss against
New Zealand would deliver
a major blow to the game in
Australia.
Defeat would leave an
extremely difficult qualifying
campaign in Europe next year
as the Boomers’ only avenue
to Beijing.
“We need to play in the
Olympic Games and in order
to do that we must beat New
Zealand. There’s no other
option,” Boomers’ coach
Brian Goorjian said.
“We’re certainly not
thinking about spending time
in Europe. We’ve got to win
this series.”
Goorjian believes Australia
deserves to be favourite
against the Tall Blacks,
despite the loss of key men
Chris Anstey, CJ Bruton,
Andrew Bogut, Matt Nielsen
and Stephen Black.
“There’s a great deal of
respect now within the
playing group...of this particular group of Kiwis,” Goorjian
Two-time Olympian Jason
Smith.
Junko Kimura/Getty Images
remarked.
“I don’t see them as favourites, but it’s going to be a
battle and we’re going to have
to bring our A-game.”
Goorjian will select a 12man squad at the end of the
10-day training camp on the
Gold Coast for a European
tour in which the Boomers
will take on Turkey and
Italy.
The battle for spots to face
New Zealand will be intense
and even Smith is looking
over his shoulder at the
younger talent snapping at
his heels.
“I’ve got some young guys
coming through that are very,
very talented at the moment.
“Brad Newley, who I’m up
against, has just been drafted
into the NBA [by the Houston
Rockets].
“I’m up against it just to
secure my own position.”
With the Boomers short
on big men, the pressure
will be on David Andersen to
make his mark, but the CSKA
Moscow centre preferred to
talk about the importance of
his experience to the squad.
“I know a lot of guys on the
international scene,” he said.
“I can help out the guys in
Australia and offer them a
little bit of insight into what
needs to be done to compete
at that level.”
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