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The Star: March 16, 2017

48 Thursday

48 Thursday March 16 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi The Star Sport International flavour lifts Coastal Spirit • By Gordon Findlater IT’S HOPED international flavour can help Coastal Spirit make a title bid in the Mainland Premier League, which kicks off this weekend. Coastal’s new English pairing of Jordan Ball and Sam Orritt have both grown up with their eyes on a professional contract in England. They recently arrived in Christchurch Ekow Quainoo looking to further their game on the opposite side of the globe. Coastal will meet Universities on Saturday at English Park. Ball, 23, has had a taste of the dream having previously played for Doncaster Rovers in League One – England’s third tier competition. The striker was a part of the youth set up at Nottingham Forrest before joining Doncaster, where he went on to earn a oneyear professional contract in 2012. He has since played for a number of non-league clubs in England and most recently had a stint playing in Sweden. NEWBIES: Luis Augusto Ebrahim, Andre Luiz Pestana, Sam Orritt and Jordan Ball will have their first chance to stamp their authority on the Mainland Premier League with Coastal on Saturday. ​ Orritt, 24, began as a junior at Rotherham United and had a short spell at Lincoln United before playing college football for Limestone College in South Carolina, United States. The midfielder and winger then signed for professional side Cowdenbeath FC in the Scottish League One competition in 2015. “Not only are they quality players, but they add to the professional environment we are trying to create here,” said Coastal Spirit coach Ekow Quainoo. Coastal’s two new English aces will be joined by the Brazilian pairing of winger Luis Augusto Ebrahim and midfielder Andre Luiz Pestana. The South American duo aren’t new to Christchurch. They were part of the Canterbury United futsal team which won last year’s Futsal National League title. Quainoo believes the addition of their Brazilian flair will suit both parties. “The way that we’re looking to play games really suits them and they’ve been really attracted to our coaching process. They’re really looking forward to showing what they can do in the Mainland Premier League,” he said. Since gaining promotion to the premier division in 2011, Coastal have slowly been improving and last year recorded their best finish since gaining promotion, finishing third behind Cashmere Technical and Nelson Suburbs. Cashmere will be going for a fifth straight title this season, as they look to continue the dominance they have held since 2013. However, Quainoo can see this year’s title race being far more open. Ferrymead Bays look to be one of the teams to beat after recruiting veteran midfielder Stu Kelly, as well as promising young Canterbury United players Sebastian Schacht and Nikolai Molijn. Nelson Suburbs is also likely to be strong with a spill over of players from the Tasman United national league team expected to feature for the club. Round one fixtures Friday: Nomads United v Ferrmyead Bays – 7pm, English Park. Saturday: Cashmere Technical v Nelson Suburbs – noon, English Park. FC Twenty 11 v Western – 2:45pm, Avonhead Park. Coastal Spirit v Universities – 2:45pm, English Park. Country’s top surf life saving athletes converge on New Brighton • By Gordon Findlater THE COUNTRY’S premier women’s triathlete Andrea Hewitt will return to her roots today, competing at the New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships in New Brighton. Earlier this month Hewitt, 34, was on top of the world stage when she won the opening round of the World Triathlon Series in Abu Dhabi. She will now return to the same stretch of beach she regularly competes on, as one of more than 1200 surf life saving athletes taking on four intense days of racing. Hewitt will compete in a number of events in today’s masters category and will also team up with her sister Tina Cox to compete in the board rescue for South Brighton. Hewitt is a previous Surf Life Saving New Zealand team member and has accumulated a number of national titles over the years, including a dominant display when the national championships where held at New Brighton in 2004. There she won the Ironman and run-swim-run titles, and also teamed up with her sister to win the board rescue. This year’s championships get under way today with the masters events (age 30-plus) before three days of open events. The event was supposed to be held in Christchurch in 2011 to celebrate 100 years of surf life saving, but due to the February earthquake three weeks prior it was relocated. Surf Life Saving New Zealand sport manager Mike Lord says it’s fantastic to be coming back to Christchurch for the 11th time and supporting the New Brighton club in hosting such a major event. At the conclusion of the national champs on Sunday, Surf Life Saving New Zealand will announce its high performance squads for the 2018 Life Saving World Championship campaign. TRIATHLETE: Andrea Hewitt represented New Zealand in the women’s triathlon at Rio de Janeiro, finishing seventh. PHOTO: QUINN ROONEY the Entry fee: $60 Includes a bottle of water and first drink ** at Prize Giving sunday 26 th march 2017 GOLF TOURNAMENT Check-in 8:30am Shotgun start at 10am in four balls $30 green fees for a practice round from 21 st to 25 th open Terrace Downs’ major tournament accommodating 100+ players with prize table over $5000! 18-hole Stableford Tournament open to all, men and ladies * with an official 18 hole NZGA Handicap Spot Prizes also awarded on the day for Best gross, Longest Drive and Closest to the Pin * Ladies’ division subject to minimum number of entries ** First drink includes tap beer, or soft drink Entries close 22 nd March Book today! SUN 19 MAR at ENGLISH PARK V 4.35pm v WELLINGTON Pro Shop - 03 318 6943 | Email - golf@terracedowns.co.nz

The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday March 16 2017 49 Vatuvei makes NRL return for Warriors • By Michael Burgess THE BEAST is back. Manu Vatuvei is set to make his first appearance for the Warriors this season after being recalled to the starting line up for tomorrow’s clash with the Bulldogs in Dunedin. Vatuvei replaces Tui Lolohea, who has been shifted to an extended interchange bench. Kieran Foran was, as expected, not included in the 21-man squad. His shoulder is still not ready for contact, although coach Stephen Kearney said there was “a chance” he could play next week. The other changes see Jacob Lillyman and Bodene Thompson brought into the run-on side, after they started the first two rounds from the bench, with Charlie Gubb and Bunty Afoa shifted to the interchange positions. The move to bring Vatuvei in is not a surprise. The 31-year-old was always going to feature sooner or later and has been ever-present for more than a decade at Mt Smart. Although he can be exposed defensively – especially when teams make him turn – the 225-game veteran offers forward momentum that can be game changing. “He’ll bring a strong carry,” said Kearney. “He has had a couple of games in the NSW Cup. He didn’t play any of the trials so the idea was to give him some game time . . . I’m happy with that.” Lolohea picked up a slight injury from the Storm game last week and didn’t take a part in full contact at training on Tuesday. But he has also struggled defensively in the first two rounds – Ken Maumalo has shaded him in overall performance – hence Kearney’s decision. 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