Softball loses two great servants

SIR PETER LEITCH
Last updated 05:00 19/02/2013

Softball lost two great servants last week - Trevor Rowse and John Voyle.

Trevor wrote on the game for several publications, as well as playing and giving of his time as an administrator, while John was a real character in the game and a delight to be around.

Certainly both would have been at Rosedale Park on March 1 to see the Softball World Championships and their beloved Black Sox, who won the world championship in 1976, 82, 84, 96, 2000 and 2004. They're coached this year by my friend Eddie Kohlhasse, a member of a famous softball family.

And I tell you what, I am off to the next Breakers game so I can get some of whatever it is they are drinking. To say they are in good form is an understatement, with the basketball boys making it 12 in a row, yes 12.

They are hotter than a Mad Butcher free barbecue and that's saying something. It's certainly great to see them in such rich form after their back-to-back titles.

Meanwhile our new boss, Vodafone Warriors coach Matthew Elliott, was not exactly delighted with his side's 32-18 trial defeat by Penrith at Hamilton on Saturday night.

But he didn't blame the players, he blamed himself, criticising his own coaching when he was interviewed after the game. That seems a bit harsh to me but I guess he has a chance to get his plans straight before Saturday's trial against the Broncos in Dunedin.

Most of the Warriors' frontline players were having their first run on Saturday while the Panthers beat the Tigers the week before so they had a run under the belt.

Their better team play was obvious and, to be fair, we looked laboured at times.

It was great to see halfback Shaun Johnson make an early try for Manu Vatuvei after he chipped over the defence and the crowd of 12,000 or so was delighted.

But it was the only time we led with Penrith scoring four unanswered tries.

Former Vodafone Warrior Lewis Brown played really well in the Panthers' colours, setting up a try and scoring two of his own.

On the winning side of the ledger, the Vodafone Junior Warriors clocked up a 50-12 win against a Waicoa Bay Selection on Saturday, then another line-up beat Glenora 34-22 on Sunday.

The games gave coach John Ackland another look at players competing for a spot in the 2013 squad.

The Black Caps were also on the right side of the ledger at the weekend for once. They beat the Poms in the opening one-dayer thanks to the heroic efforts of Martin Guptil. He'd been injured early in the innings but came out again to belt out 27 runs - and hit the winning one with seven balls remaining.

And talking about winning, a lot of people tell me they would love to support the Warriors but can't afford the season tickets so the club has come up with a great offer: A $49 Away Members package.

You get a Vodafone Warriors cap, a key ring, a pin and lanyard and the chance to secure great ticket offers via communications from the club, up to and including grand final ticket offers. It's a terrific deal and you can get in on it by calling 0800 839 839 or visiting season members.warriors.co.nz.

- Manukau Courier

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