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Each week, our Fairfax sports journalists will select their top 3 Plays of the week - where sports men and women demonstrate a No Quit attitude to their given sport. Join us each week and let us know your thoughts. Do you agree with this week's top 3?
ONE: It's official. New Zealand has a golden girl at the Paralympics in London, with Christchurch teenage swimming sensation Sophie Pascoe emerging as one of the stars of the Games. The 19-year-old single leg amputee picked up two gold medals - both in world record times - and a silver through the opening few days in the pool, and had her sights on more gold when she resumed her programme on Tuesday (UK time). So dominant is the Kiwi that she has been effectively in a race of her own in her specialty events - but that doesn't lessen her quest for perfection. "It's not about the gold, it's not about the silver or bronze it's about going out there and doing a PB and if it gets you on that podium, that's what you want," says Pascoe. So far she's managing both in some style.
TWO: He was the hard luck story of the London Olympics, but finally Kiwi equestrian great Andrew Nicholson has had the rub of the green go his way in a come-from-behind victory in the prestigious four-star Burghley three-day event at the weekend. The 51-year-old world No 1 Kiwi secured his third Burghley title - pocketing $200,000 in prize-money in the process - when he and mount Avebury overhauled American Sinead Halpin over the showjumping phase to follow up on his victories in 1995 and 2000. The only downer for the ageless New Zealander was that he finished an agonising one point short of catching Briton William Fox-Pitt for the overall series title, which would have netted him another $93,000 in prize-money. Never mind, after his luckless fourth at the Olympics, Nicholson was just happy to be back in winning form again.
THREE: With the Rugby Championship on hiatus, the focus went on to the national provincial championship over the weekend, with Taranaki tyro Beauden Barrett producing arguably the most influential performance of a busy round of action. The men from the 'Naki produced a Log o' Wood classic to nudge out a gallant Tasman challenge 49-40, with the classy Barrett producing 29 of his side's points, including the game-clinching try in the closing minutes. Barrett is currently the third-ranked No 10 on the All Black pecking order, but his nerveless display with the boot and around the field showed he's more than ready for the callup whenever it may come. An honourable mention, too, to a fabulous Tasman challenge that saw the South Islanders cross for five tries and post the highest ever losing score in a shield challenge. Close, but no cigar.