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The Star: April 27, 2017

38 Latest Christchurch

38 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday April 27 2017 Sport Why Ben Matulino is leaving the Warriors • By Michael Burgess FOR DEPARTING Warriors prop Ben Matulino, the Ivan Cleary factor was the single biggest reason in his decision to sign for West Tigers. It was confirmed close to midnight on Tuesday that Matulino had agreed terms with the Sydney club, after a week of speculation about his future. The Warriors statement emphasised that Matulino wanted to experience “living in Sydney with his family” but the 28-yearold confirmed that his close relationship with Cleary sealed the deal. “I’ve always had a close bond with [Cleary] and he was the main drawcard for me,” Matulino told Radio Sport on Tuesday night. “I know how he operates – seeing what he has done with other teams – and I was pretty keen to get on board with that.” Matulino also revealed that he came extremely close to signing for Penrith to rejoin Cleary a few years ago, and obviously wasn’t going to pass up another opportunity. “A couple of years back he almost got me to Penrith,” said Matulino. “I was a couple of days away from signing there and I ended up staying with the Warriors. “[This decision was about] linking up with my old coach The Star and testing myself in a different environment. For me it was about getting a fresh start – starting from the bottom of the pecking order and working my way up.” Cleary gave Matulino his NRL debut at the Warriors in 2008, and three seasons later Matulino was the cornerstone of the Warriors pack that went to the grand-final. He has had patches of good form over the last few seasons, but never really recaptured his best under the Warriors’ revolving cast of coaches since 2012. The news is another blow to the Auckland club off the back of Kieran Foran’s likely move to the Bulldogs for the 2018 season. Matulino managed 48 minutes in Tuesday night’s 20-14 loss to the Storm, his first match of the season after a longer than expected recovery from knee surgery. –NZ Herald CARPET PICk of THE WEEk garage carpet Colour: Charcoal Widths available: 2m, 3m and 4m. UV resistant, fade resistant, water resistant, easy to clean and great value. 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The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday April 27 2017 39 Sport Value Cars www.valuecarswarehouse.co.nz 32 Moorhouse Ave | 03 366 7768 The biggest range of vehicles in one location Following in Steven Adams’ footsteps • By Gordon Findlater ANGUS MCWILLIAM will follow in the footsteps of Kiwi NBA star Steven Adams when he joins Texas Christian University next year. McWilliam, 17, has committed to play at TCU under coach Jamie Dixon, who was Adams’ head coach at the University of Pittsburgh from 2012-2013. “What Steven Adams is doing is the goal for many of us,” said McWilliam. “To know that a coach I’m going to be playing for helped him get to where he is, that’s really cool to know.” The 2.10m power forward came to TCU’s attention during a trip with the Mainland Eagles to Las Vegas in December. TCU assistant head coach David Patrick was impressed with McWilliam and invited him for an official visit to the university in January, where he met Dixon. “They were just so welcoming and made me feel part of the family right from the get go. I was pretty sold on it when I came back from the visit,” said McWilliam. Dixon was in Christchurch earlier this month, where he spent time with McWilliam’s family and also held a coaching seminar at Middleton Grange, McWilliam’s high school. After 13 years as head coach at Pittsburgh, Dixon joined TCU last year and led them to the NIT championship, widely regarded as the second biggest prize in college basketball. In July, McWilliam will travel to Egypt with the Junior Tall Blacks to compete at the under-19 basketball World Cup. After the World Cup, he will finish his final year at Middleton Grange, where he is deputy head boy, and hopes to play for the Canterbury Rams before making the trip to Texas. COLLEGE STAR: Teen basketballer Angus McWilliam is off to the United States. He is tipped to be the next Steven Adams (below). PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER Christ’s play for Moascar Cup • By Gordon Findlater THE OPENING round of the UC Championship will see Christ’s College challenge Nelson College for the Moascar Cup, secondary school rugby’s equivalent of the Ranfurly Shield. Christ’s will be coached by former All Black captain Reuben Thorne for a second season. Last year, they finished at the top of the round-robin before losing to Shirley Boys’ High School in a muddy semi-final. Nelson has held the Moascar Cup since June. Christchurch Boys’ High School will be expected to brush aside their opening clash of the season when they host Waimea Combined. St Thomas of Canterbury College will host Burnside High School. St Thomas will be boosted by the services of former CBHS player and Brisbane Broncos recruit Jordan Riki. Saturday fixtures (home team first) Nelson College v Christs; Roncalli College v Marlborough Boys’ College; CBHS v Waimea; Shirley BHS v Ashburton College; Rangiora High School v Timaru BHS; St Thomas v Burnside HS; Lincoln HS v St Bede’s; St Andrew’s bye). DESIGNER FASHION AT OUTLET PRICES SMART BRANDS SMARTER PRICES HORNBY 409 Main South Road | Open 10am–5pm, 7 days