Why Dan Vickerman was so loved in the rugby community

World reacts to former Wallabies star Dan Vickerman's shock deathBut like many of the truly tough men in sport, Vickerman was anything but off the field. A few weeks ​earlier Wallabies coach Eddie Jones​ had​ called Vickerman "the best player in Super Rugby." Related Content Rugby: World reacts to former Wallabies star Dan Vickerman's shock death Kiwis in Europe: Colin Slade up in lights at Pau Rugby: Former Wallaby Dan Vickerman diesJones was Vickerman's first big fan. The Waratahs made two Super Rugby finals in the next five seasons​, and Vickerman played almost every Test for the Wallabies until the middle of 2008 when suddenly ... ​he​ walked away. Vickerman played his 63rd and last Test in the World Cup semi-final in New Zealand before leg injuries forced him into retirement​ in 2012​.

February 19, 2017 18:22 UTC

Jamie Whincup calls off wedding a day after bachelor party

V8 Supercars driver Jamie Whincup has reportedly called off his wedding the day after his bachelor party. The 34-year-old was set to wed long-time partner Courtney Nicholson this summer but according to Australia's The Sunday Telegraph, the six-time Supercars champion ended the relationship on the eve of the big day. The Sunday Telegraph reports that the wedding was all paid for and Nicholson, a dancer and model, had bought a dream wedding dress. Whincup confirmed the split to the The Sunday Telegraph. "We are just two people who have decided not to be together any more and that's all I can say about it really," Whincup said.

February 19, 2017 17:48 UTC

Weta Digital explains FACETS, its Oscar-winning tech secret

Weta Digital explains FACETS, its Oscar-winning tech secretWeta Digital has won an early Oscar for its development of FACETS, and before you ask what the heck that is, the hint is in the first four letters. Weta Digital's FACETS technology, first used in Avatar, has won a Scientific and Technical Oscar. Fascione accepted the award, along with former Weta Digital employees J.P Lewis and Iain Matthews, but said a big team were responsible for making FACETS happen. Weta Digital also said the system would not exist without the invaluable help of Shane Cooper, Nebojsa Dragosavac, Goran Milic. Fascione said Weta Digital was always looking at how cinema technology could be improved.

February 19, 2017 17:38 UTC

Minty moment sees Park upset St Clair Blue

Michael Minty (Island Park) sank an 8m-putt on the final hole to beat Ryan Bellamy and give his team an upset win over the favoured St Clair Blue sextet in the first round of the metropolitan senior A men’s pennant series yesterday. The top St Clair team had considerable success last year, winning the metropolitan and provincial pennants as well as finishing as top club in the champion of champions event. Island Park No4 Mike Wray beat Connor Ross on the 17th green, while No5 Andrew Hobbs halved with St Clair Blue captain Chris Snow. Otago Blue is in second place with a 4 to 2 win over St Clair Gold which posted one win and two halves. At No5, Jason Hughes gave Otago Blue its second win and No 2 Ben Patston beat Troy Ferguson two up.

February 19, 2017 17:37 UTC

McBride completes historic singles sculls double

Its women’s premier lightweight double sculls crew of Sydney Telfer and Hannah Duggan claimed silver and Haruna Sakakibara also nabbed silver in the women’s senior single sculls. The Columba College crew secured silver in the women’s under-19 coxed four and Oamaru pair Jared Brenssell and James Scott won the men’s under-19 double sculls. There was an upset in the men’s under-22 double sculls with junior double sculls world champion Jack Lopas and Southern RPC crewmate James Walker forced to settle for silver behind Jordan Parry and Ben van Dalen of Waikato RPC. The field was tight in the women’s under-19 double sculls with 500m to go. The men’s under-20 double sculls was won by Auckland RPC’s Oliver Maclean and Jonathan Kumarich after a classy display of sculling.

February 19, 2017 17:37 UTC

CD reviews: Little Fictions

Unlike some contemporaries, who have lost their way or been swallowed up by their own egos, the warm-blanket-like comfort of Guy Carvey’s voice and melodies that the band conjure is writ large over Little Fictions. Featuring collaborations with an orchestra and choir, this is a band exuding confidence but still delivering little bursts of melancholia, albeit with some buoyant romanticism. Like the ageing of a fine wine and moving closer to some of their prog references, Elbow delivers again. Little Fictions. • Four stars (out fo five)Single download: Trust The SunFor those who like: Peter Gabriel, Ed Harcourt, The Twilight Singers— Mark Orton

February 19, 2017 17:30 UTC

Wigan smash Cronulla in world club challenge

Wigan smash Cronulla in world club challengeGETTY IMAGES Wigan star Joe Burgess made a point to his NRL detractors with a starring role in the win over Cronulla. NRL discard Joe Burgess scored a hat-trick as Wigan upset Cronulla 22-6 to win rugby league's world club challenge. Burgess scored two tries in the first half to give the home side a 10-0 lead at halftime on Monday (NZ time). The Sharks weren't happy with the performance of referee Robert Hicks who was constantly questioned by skipper Paul Gallen. It was Wigan's seventh appearance in the signature match and they secured a record fourth win.

February 19, 2017 17:30 UTC

World going full speed ahead: hold on to your hats!

Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman's examination of global, social and technological forces might be sobering reading, yet it also holds hope for our planet. Friedman is a multiple Pulitzer Prize winner for his The New York Times columns which reflect his extensive travel and contacts with those who matter in the world on politics, science and crystal ball gazing. His thesis proposes that to arrive at a solution to our problems we need to understand the three largest forces affecting the planet's future. Those extra two billion will be driving cars, using electricity and water and they'll need to be fed. The procession of similar solutions paraded by Friedman suggests there is yet hope for the planet and justifies his book's subtitle.

February 19, 2017 17:27 UTC

Gritty and satisfying provincial NZ story

A vet and part-time farmer, author Danielle Hawkins' new novel, The Pretty Delicious Cafe, offers more meat and bones than fluff. Danielle Hawkins. Photo: Marama Shearer, Thrive PhotographyTHE PRETTY DELICIOUS CAFEDanielle HawkinsHarperCollinsBy CAROLINE HUNTERSet in a provincial New Zealand cafe, I thought this novel would be an effortless holiday read. The Pretty Delicious Cafe is well-paced and lively, and it is evident Hawkins has a good understanding of relationships, particularly those within families. Win a copyThe ODT has five copies of The Pretty Delicious Cafe by Danielle Hawkins to give away courtesy of HarperCollins.

February 19, 2017 17:26 UTC

Juicy material fails to fully hit mark

Assiduously researched, Paulo Coelho's profile of femme fatale Mata Hari reveals a chameleonic, complex character. THE SPYPaulo CoelhoHamish Hamilton/Penguin Random HouseBy FEBY IDRUSMata Hari was the great femme fatale of her time. Coelho forgoes dwelling on sordid plot details in favour of painting a picture of who this so-called independent woman was. It's juicy material, and all based on assiduous research, using primary resources like the British government's dossier on her, compiled by British intelligence. However, Coelho's portrait of Mata Hari feels somehow less engaging than it could have been.

February 19, 2017 17:26 UTC

Facing the future

Children in society need to be protected and the new Vulnerable Children’s Ministry is setting out to do just that. Those are terribly concerning numbers, especially when the future of New Zealand will eventually be decided by those children included in the statistics. It is people like Ms Hayward who need to be applauded for their bravery in taking a stance on such a difficult subject. The unit should be encouraged in whatever way possible to expand its study and help solve some of the issues facing many children and their families. As a population, Kiwis need to realise they have a responsibility to start questioning why so many children need to be involved with CYF or the new ministry.

February 19, 2017 17:15 UTC

Fantasies coming to a head

Is the chap with his finger on the Vapouriser Button a trailblazing CEO type president who might just be viciously effective. Your balanced "people person" won’t cut it as either a turnaround CEO, or a turnaround president. But, specifically, think Donald Trump. Loathe him or not, the madness of Donald Trump helped build his American business dream. Well how long will it be before Donald Trump REALLY cracks?

February 19, 2017 17:15 UTC

The party continues ... with Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival in the Bay this week

Huge number of Hawke's Bay people are expected at Te Matatini as kapa haka springs another giant festival on Hawke's Bay this week. Many are expected to arrive tomorrow for powhiri with their marae hosts, ahead of the festival Pohiri at McLean Park, Napier on Wednesday, from 11am. Te Matatini performers have come from 14 regional competitions since Te Matatini 2015 in Christchurch and iwi communications adviser Ruth Wong says only "the best" will perform this week. Other big events in Hawke's Bay in late summer are the national Rodeo Championships in Wairoa on March 24-25 and the Dixie Chicks' Mission Concert on April 8. - Hawkes Bay Today

February 19, 2017 17:15 UTC

Sri Lanka pull off incredible comeback to beat Australia

Allrounder Asela Gunaratne has blasted Sri Lanka to a stunning two-wicket T20 win over Australia in Geelong. He hit the match-winning boundary off the last ball on Sunday night to cap his outstanding 84no from 46 balls, as Sri Lanka snatched the win from the home team's grasp. Sri Lanka have an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series ahead of Wednesday's last game at Adelaide Oval. Australia are yet to beat Sri Lanka in a home T20 after five games. Chasing 173, Sri Lanka slumped to 5-40 and with two overs left, they were still off the pace at 7-138.

February 19, 2017 17:15 UTC

Crunching the Toyota Corolla hybrid's numbers

Crunching the Toyota Corolla hybrid's numbersPAUL OWEN/FAIRFAX NZ Nothing to see here.. much. TOYOTA COROLLA HYBRIDPrice: $38,490Powertrain: 73kW/142Nm 1.8 litre petrol I4 supplemented by a 60kW/270Nm electric motor, CVT automatic gearbox, front wheel drive. I couldn't help pondering this prospect while driving the $38,490 Toyota Corolla hybrid. READ MORE:* Toyota Corolla is the perfect car* NZ's top 10 selling vehicles for 2016* Why the Toyota Corolla hybrid is the top green car of 2016PAUL OWEN/FAIRFAX NZ Hybrid drive modes? Ride quality was impressive, helped by the new independent rear suspension that's unique to the hybrid Corolla model.

February 19, 2017 17:15 UTC

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