The Northern Territory news Fri 23 Oct 2015
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FRIDAY OCTOBER 23 2015 SPORT 35 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA painful defeats, so often raised by the media. I was born in 88 so I dont remember the game or anything, lock Sam Whitelock (pictured) said. Obviously in the history of the World Cup you can go back. Theres a number of massive games the All Blacks and Springboks have played throughout a number of tournaments. I think this is the first time weve played each other in a semi-final, so itll be pretty cool to see how it goes and Im sure it will be part of history. After whipping France 62-13 in last Sundays quarterfinal, the All Blacks ended a week of denial about France shattering their World Cup hopes in 2007 by admitting they had fixed up that defeat. But against a team like South Africa, whom they play far more often than France, the All Blacks are measuring the 1995 final to South Africa in Johannesburg amid talk the team had been poisoned by a m y s t e r i o u s waitress named Suzie. Most of the current team had not reached their teens by then and while they talk of upholding the honour of the jersey and respecting its history they claim little knowledge of themselves against more recent performances than 1995. History has shown that prior form means nothing when it comes to a finals game, Kieran Read said. Weve got to turn up and certainly take lessons from the games weve played against them in the past. South Africa reached the last four after downing Wales 23-19 in a classic quarter-final at Twickenham last Sunday. IRB WORLD CUP Semi-Finals (NT times) Sunday: New Zealand v South Africa at Twickenham, London (12.30am); Referee: Jerome Garces (France) Monday: Australia v Argentina at Twickenham, London (1.30am); Referee: Wayne Barnes (England) TV: Fox Sports, GEM (live) Slipper in bid to put horror pass behind him IAIN PAYTEN JAMES Slipper (pictured) has admitted he felt sick in the stomach after throwing an intercept pass that almost saw the Wallabies knocked out of the Rugby World Cup. But the man who saved his bacon with a match-winning kick, Wallabies five-eighth Bernard Foley, has backed the mentality that led to Slippers adventurous wide pass and said the team still want forwards to be in the backline playing attacking footy. Everyone is trying to criticise James for the pass but if you look at the outside there was a four-on-one overlap, Foley said. Thats what this team is about. We want to be able to show that we play rugby, we dont fear what could go wrong. We want to look at the opportunities we can create. We want our forwards throwing those passes and playing and intertwining with the backs, because that is ultimately going to make us more of a threatening team and keep defences guessing. They are encouraging words to soothe Slippers mind now but late in the game against Scotland on Monday morning, all the Queensland prop could think of how people back home were reacting. In the 73rd minute he double-pumped a pass intended to go behind Tatafu PolotaNau and Michael Hooper and find Drew Mitchell. Mark Bennett swooped and a distraught Slipper can be seen on his hands and knees with his head on the ground. I dont know what I was saying in that huddle, I just remember thinking of my parents and everyone who got up early in the morning to watch us play and all the supporters, Slipper said. It was pretty tough at the time and I was sick in the stomach. But in my head, I was thinking if we get in the right spot I can really try to do something for the team and win a penalty or make a difference. I wasnt going to drop my head and shy away from the challenge. Slipper did all he could to help the Wallabies respond and their escape act means theyll contest in consecutive World Cup semi-finals. One of the more knockabout Wallabies, Slipper was down momentarily after the match but teammates rallied around him and he fronted up to do media duties with a smile overnight. Told hed have an after-dinner speech for life, Slipper said: I could have been that guy. Its obviously something I have to live with, Ive thrown that ball so many times in my career before and I decided to wait for a quarter-final to throw the bad one. Sonny Bill Creevy has Wallabies on offload alert ARGENTINAS answer to All Blacks powerhouse Sonny Bill Williams has Australia on high alert over his offloading ability ahead of this weekends World Cup semi-final. Argentina captain Agustin Creevy remains in doubt for Mondays clash at Twickenham with a leg injury but he poses a major threat to Australia after drawing comparisons with the dynamic dual interna tional. For the most part the pair share few traits Williams is built like an Adonis, while Creevy has the more attainable David Boon physique. But the 30-year-old hooker has earned the nickname Sonny Bill Creevy due to his ability to draw defenders and get offloads away much like Williams, who developed his freakish talents in the NRL and has perfected them in the 15-man game. The 110kg Creevy was first given the moniker by fans at French club Montpellier during a popular three-year stint. Showing rare skill for a burly forward, Creevy creates second-phase play that opens up the field for Argentinas dynamic backs including speedy winger Juan Imhoff and fullback Joaquin Tuculet. And its a part of Argentinas game that has left the Wallabies wary heading into the elimination final. We will definitely look at trying to shut that down in the way we defend, Wallabies five-eighth Bernard Foley said. We want two men in that tackle to not allow them to offload, if only one is going low. Every time they offload they get in behind and as a defensive line you have to retreat, so we really do want to stop their momentum in that regard. Traditionally renowned as a fearsome scrummaging nation, Argentina are increasingly adding to their reputation by playing carefree rugby. But prop James Slipper believes the Wallabies defensive structure, as dictated by defensive guru Nathan Grey, has the qualities to stop all attacking threats. All Blacks insist the past wont present a problem WITH France it was 2007, South Africa in 1995. New Zealanders have long memories when it comes to hurtful World Cup losses, but the All Blacks refuse to be sidetracked by history. As they prepare to face South Africa in Saturdays semi-final, they would rather talk about familiarity with their fiercest rival and not a deep-seated grudge. It is 20 years since they lost COACH Michael Cheika was forced to put his shoulder to the wheel at Wallabies training yesterday as injury clouds continued to hang unhappily over key Australian stars. Star trio David Pocock, Israel Folau and Scott Sio all played next to no part in Wallabies training again at their west London base due to ongoing injury concerns. Leaving them in considerable doubt for the Wallabies semi-final against Argentina on Monday morning, Pocock (strained calf) didnt run with the team, Folau (ankle) trained for about 10 minutes before sit Barnes also oversaw the Wallabies historic win in Bloemfontein in 2010. He has only refereed the Wallabies against Argentina once, and it was a record 54-17 win by Australia over the Pumas in Rosario. ting out and a heavily strapped Sio (elbow) ran on-field only briefly. With Pocock riding an exercise bike on the sidelines, Cheika was forced to reprise his former days as a backrower for Randwick and pack down for the Wallabies reserves during live scrum practice. Cheika likes to still get involved in training and former Scotland fullback Hugo Southwell said recently that the coach used to do full-contact sessions when at Stade Francais. Flanker Scott Fardy also weighed in yesterday. He still gets in there and throws his weight around, he said. Hes getting a bit old now, hes starting to get into his late 40s. Sio appears the most unlikely to play and though an optimistic Cheika is keen to give them as much time as possible, Pocock and Folau will likely have to train in their final opportunity today to be able to be named in the side by Cheika later that day. Kurtley Beale and Ben McCalman would keep their roles at No.15 and No.8, respectively, while James Slipper would be the man to replace Sio. Injury-watch may have been as grim as the weather but after a week of refereeing controversy, a potential ray of sunlight emerged after the World Cup semi-final officials appointments were released. The Wallabies-Argentina game will be refereed by Englishman Wayne Barnes a whistleblower who has never been in charge of an Australian Test loss. Barnes has officiated the Wallabies on 12 occasions and the men in gold have won all 12. The man the Kiwis love to hate has refereed the Wallabies in three victories over the All Blacks including their win in Sydney in August and the Tri-Nations win in Brisbane in 2011. Cheika shoulders load IAIN PAYTEN Injury to David Pocock forced coach Michael Cheika to square off with Michael Hooper during a Wallabies training session in London yesterday Picture: STUART WALMSLEY