Sir Colin Meads flashback: The standout 1967 Tour of Great Britain

In Sir Colin Meads stellar 15 year All Blacks career, the 1967 tour of Great Britain is a standout.

The team was unbeaten on the tour and 50 years on many were in Te Kuiti to remember their mate at his funeral today.

Those mates included rugby greats Sir Brian Lochore, Ian Kirkpatrick, Sam Strahan, Earle Kirton and Graeme Thorne.

"I was at primary school when he first became an All Black, so it was pretty amazing to put your arm around him in a scrum," former teammate Sam Strahan said.

It has been said the 1967 All Blacks changed the game because of their open running style.

The tour was also memorable because Meads was sent off against Scotland, although his teammates say no grudges were held against the ref with him and Meads becoming "good mates" after the incident.

Colin "Pinetree" Meads was one of the greatest players to ever pull on the All Black jersey, and the archetype for the good Kiwi bloke.

Sadly, last week, at age 81, he died of cancer.

Family and friends turned out in his hometown of Te Kuiti to farewell the great man at his funeral today.

The team was unbeaten and 50 years on many were at Pinetree's funeral. Source: 1 NEWS



'He’s too valuable': Hansen says All Backs won't risk 'flattening' a sick Sonny Bill

Sonny Bill Williams is out of this Saturday's Rugby Championship Test for the All Blacks against the Springboks at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Williams was initially named on the bench in the All Blacks' 23 man squad, but hasn't recovered from tonsillitis he suffered earlier in the week.

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"He's had tonsillitis all week and at the end of the day it was whether we chuck him out on the reserve bench and flatten him if he has to come on and play 80 minutes or take the risk and he only has to play 20," coach Steve Hansen said.

"In the end he's too valuable to do that to and we've got good replacements." 

He is replaced by teammate Jack Goodhue on the bench.

Williams hasn’t played since he injured his shoulder in the French Test series in June.

The All Blacks coach discussed the risks associated with SBW making his comeback to rugby off the bench against South Africa. Source: 1 NEWS


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Auckland’s median house price increases for the first time in six months

Auckland’s median house price increased year-on-year for the first time in six months as the median house price outside the country’s biggest city had a 6.2 per cent annual increase, according to Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) data.

In August, the median price in Auckland rose 1.4 per cent to $852,000, according to the latest data.

"After six months of flat prices in Auckland it is positive to see an increase as we head towards spring," Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ, said.

"Breaking the Super City down into its old regional boundaries has shown that areas with solid annual median price increases were Manukau and Waitakere Cities with rises of 10.1% and 5.1% respectively. Whereas, North Shore City saw a fall of -14.6% year-on-year to a median price of $915,000 the lowest median the North Shore has seen since January 2016," she said.

In New Zealand, the median house price increased 3.6 per cent year-on-year to $549,000.

With the median house price outside Auckland rising by 6.2 per cent, three regions achieved record median prices with two regions equalling previous records.

The record breakers were Gisborne, where the median price went up 42.6 per cent to $335,000, Tasman where the median rose 24.2 per cent to $615,000 and Manawatu/Wanganui, where the price went up 10.5 per cent to $315,000.

Waikato’s median house price increased by 9.4 per cent to $525,00 to equal the record from June while the media price in Hawke’s Bay rose 9.9 per cent to $445,000, equalling a record from March this year.

Auckland, New Zealand - January 11, 2014: New Homes on January 11, 2014. House prices are booming around New Zealand - with the average price of an Auckland city home rocketing to $735,692.
Auckland houses (file picture). Source: istock.com

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Wallabies ready for 'very passionate' Pumas coach Merio Ledesma's challenge

The Wallabies hope they are still profiting from lessons learnt under their former forwards coach Mario Ledesma, as they prepare to face an Argentinian team now under his stewardship.

Former Pumas hooker Ledesma had a strong association with Australian rugby and especially Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

He was forwards coach at French club Stade Francais under Cheika, who brought him to Australia to help out at the NSW Waratahs and then the Wallabies.

Recently appointed Argentina's national head coach, Ledesma will lead the country of his birth into battle against Australia in Saturday's Rugby Championship match on the Gold Coast.

"Very passionate but also quite technical," Wallabies' prop Scott Sio said of Ledesma.

"He knew when to take you aside and have a one-on-one chat and then he also had the ability to really get the team up and get them going for a session.

"He was a great believer in how you train is how you're going to play on the weekend and making the most of your training.

"That was one thing we really got from him and I think hopefully it's something that we've kept."

After leaving the Wallabies in late 2017, Ledesma enjoyed success with the Jaguares, leading Argentina's Super Rugby representative to the playoffs for the first time, in his only season at the franchise.

Appointed Pumas head coach at the start of last month, they have shown promising signs in their first three outings under his leadership.

They had a 13-point away loss and a home win by the same margin in their matches against South Africa.

In their most recent game last weekend, they lost away to New Zealand by 22, a smaller margin than Australia's two defeats by the world champion All Blacks in the first two rounds.

'The scoreline didn't reflect how that game actually went on the weekend for them." Sio said.

"I thought they had some great play in attack and really challenged the All Blacks for quite a lot of time in that game.

"So just looking forward to the battle, I think it will be a physical 80 minutes and then we look forward to seeing him (Ledesma) after."

Sio revealed one aspect of the Wallabies Ledesma found hard to appreciate.

"He was never happy about the different coloured boots that we wore," Sio said.

"He was always a big believer - like my dad - in black boots all the way."

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma during the Argentina rugby team training session ahead of the Rugby Championship test match in Nelson on Saturday against the New Zealand All Blacks, Alexandra Park, Auckland. Tuesday 4 September 2018. © Copyright Image: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz
Argentina rugby coach Mario Ledesma. Source: Photosport


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Major delays expected after crash on State Highway 1 in Waikato

A car and truck have crashed on State Highway at Tokoroa in Waikato today.

The crash happened at 9.55am today between East Parkdale Street and Main Road.

Policea are urging motorists to avoid the area and follow diversions with major delays expected.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS