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Crusaders coach apologises for dropping C-bomb about journalist



Crusaders coach Rob Penney has apologised for referring to a journalist as a “c**t” after a media session in Christchurch on Wednesday.

The coach of the under-performing team had been asked a series of questions by TVNZ’s Thomas Mead, relating to their 2-10 record in this year’s Super Rugby Pacific competition.

With the press conference finished, but with the cameras and microphones still on, Penney made his feelings clear about the exchange.

In a statement on Thursday, Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge said the “private comment” was inadvertently picked up on third-party microphones.

“Rob has since apologised to me for what was said,” Mansbridge said.

“On behalf of the Crusaders organisation, I apologise for the comments he made regarding the reporter. I spoke to the reporter today and he has accepted our apology.”

Mead had initially asked Penney how much responsibility he was taking as coach, as opposed to his players.

“We’re all in it together. It’s a combination of many things and we’ll endeavour to put on a great performance this week against the Blues,” he responded.

Penney said he was “absolutely” expecting to be in the Crusaders head coaching job next year and flatly denied considering walking away from the role that he took over from Scott Robertson this year.

He seemed to take particular umbrage with being asked about having the backing of his playing group, refusing to give any details on any conversations that have been had on the matter.

When asked about if he wanted to “put a line” under the 2024 season, Penney ruled that out and pointed to past results.

“Because I love this group and I know what they’re capable of,” he said.

“You only have to reflect back to a few seasons ago to I think 2001 when the Crusaders, after winning three in a row, finished 10th. Then they went through unbeaten in 2002. I’m not sure where all this… the doom and gloom is not something we’re buying into.”

The 10-placed Crusaders host the table-topping Blues on Saturday night at Apollo Projects Stadium in Christchurch, a loss in that match will finally finish off their faint play-off hopes.

Source: 1 news and RNZ

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All Blacks win the first World Cup 20 June 1987 -NZ HISTROY



With Michael Jones, John Kirwan and David Kirk scoring tries, the All Blacks defeated France 29–9 at Eden Park, Auckland. Kirk became the first captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

The first Rugby World Cup was hosted jointly by New Zealand and Australia. Rugby powerhouse South Africa was excluded because of an international sports boycott in opposition to its apartheid policies.

Winger Kirwan opened the tournament by running almost the length of the field, beating most of the Italian team to score a memorable try. The All Blacks won 70–6 before comfortably beating Fiji and Argentina. In the knockout phase, Scotland was defeated 30–3 and Wales 49–6.

The Webb Ellis Cup subsequently proved elusive. Despite usually heading the world rankings, the All Blacks did not win the trophy again until 2011, when New Zealand hosted the tournament. The final – a rematch of 1987 – was a near thing as the All Blacks hung on to win 8-7.

In 2015, the All Blacks became the first team to win consecutive titles and the first to win the cup three times.


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Fiji thumps Samoa



The Digicel Bula Boys clinched their second consecutive victory at the OFC Men’s Nations Cup 2024 Group B match, overpowering Samoa 9-1 at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.

A dominant second half performance saw the side score six goals.

Fiji was leading 3-nil at halftime.

Setareki Hughes, Roy Krishna and Etonia Dogalau starred for the national side, each scoring twice.

Filipe Baravilala and youngsters Thomas Dunn and Nabil Begg netted the other goals.

Scott Wara was shown a yellow card in the first half for the national side.

Samoa’s lone goal was scored by Andrew Setefano.

Fiji will face Tahiti at 7pm on Saturday

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Highlanders back Connor Garden-Bachop has died



Highlanders and Māori All Blacks player Connor Garden-Bachop has died aged 25.

New Zealand Rugby confirmed his death and said Garden-Bachop died on Monday following a medical event.

Garden-Bachop made his Highlanders debut in 2021 and played five seasons with the franchise.

He played provincial rugby for both Canterbury and Wellington and attended Scots College in Wellington.

The Highlanders announced the departure of several players from the team for next year, including Garden-Bachop, last week.

Garden-Bachop then made a social media post thanking the Highlanders for an “unforgettable five years” at the Dunedin based franchise.

“Thank you to everyone in the south for making me feel at home, and thank you to the boys I have been honoured to share the field with, it’s been a pleasure, I will miss you all. Till next time #300.”

His father Stephen Bachop and uncle Graeme Bachop both played for the All Blacks, while his mother Sue Garden-Bachop, who died of cancer in 2009, played for the Black Ferns.

His brother Jackson Garden-Bachop played six seasons for the Hurricanes and currently plays for Brive in the French Top 14 competition.

‘United in our grief’

New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board, the Highlanders, Wellington Rugby and the New Zealand Rugby Players Association released a statement confirming Garden-Bachop’s death.

“On behalf of the entire rugby community, the Highlanders, Wellington Rugby, New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board and the New Zealand Rugby Players Association would like to extend our deepest thoughts and love to the Garden-Bachop family.”

“Connor passed away on Monday following a medical event, and rugby’s collective focus at this time is on supporting his family. All of rugby walks alongside the Garden-Bachop family at this time and we are collectively united in our grief.

“Connor was a fantastic young player, an exciting New Zealand age-grade representative and a proud Māori All Black. Wherever he played, he was a committed and popular teammate with infectious energy and someone who could light up the room.

“Most importantly, he was a loving father to his twin girls, a brother, a son and immeasurably loved by all those who knew him.

NZR, the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board, the Highlanders, Wellington Rugby and the Players Association are providing support and ask that the privacy of the Garden-Bachop family is respected.”

Source: RNZ

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