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America's Cup....

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Well I missed the saturday commentary due to the last cigarette celebrations in the yeoman.


But the kiwi's lost, so it's 4-2 to Alinghi and they have two match points.


The race is about to start, but I want to watch the French Grand Prix also..... argghhh!


Go the Kiwi's...... Please god.

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Alinghi: Alinghi: Bowman: Pieter van Nieuwenhuyzen. Pitman: Josh Belsky. Grinders: Mark McTeigue, Matt Welling, Will McCarthy. Trimmers: Simon Daubney, Lorenzo Mazza. Mainsail trimmer: Warwick Fleury, Strategist/traveller: Murray Jones. Runner/pitman: Dean Phipps. Navigator: Juan Vila. Afterguard: Ernesto Bertarelli. Tactician: Brad Butterworth. Helmsman: Ed Baird.


Team New Zealand: Team NZ: Bowman: Stuart Bettany. Grinders: Rob Waddell, Winston McFarlane, Jono MacBeth, Chris McAsey. Trimmers: Chris Salthouse, Grant Loretz, James Dagg. Runner: Tony Rae. Mainsail Trimmer: Dan Cowie. Strategist: Ray Davies. Tactician: Terry Hutchinson. Helmsman/Tactician: Kelvin Harrap, Skipper: Dean Barker

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The story so far:


Alinghi: Alinghi - Race One by 35 seconds, Race Four by 30 seconds, Race Five by 19 seconds, Race Six by 28 seconds


Team New Zealand: Team NZ - Race Two by 28 seconds, Race Three by 25 seconds


Therefore Alighi lead TeamNZ by 4 races to 2 in this first to 5 contest.

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There is no proof as yet but nonetheless such speculation must be just a little unsettling for the Swiss, especially given that their swashbuckling pirate captain Butterworth is thought to be one of those set to hoist another colour sail in four years time...... let's hope they bring the cup back to blighty.... now that would be something!!!

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In other southern hemisphere related news: Australia winger Lote Tuqiri has been suspended for two matches and fined $22,000 for breaching the team's disciplinary rules over alcohol.


The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) said Tuqiri had failed to attend a medical appointment then a team recovery session in Sydney on Monday.


The ARU breath-tested Tuqiri after he missed the appointments and he was found to be over the team's imposed alcohol limits.


Tuqiri, 27, had escaped with a suspended two-match ban for a drunken incident in Cape Town two years ago but the ARU said they had no choice but to suspend the former rugby league international him this time.


"The agreement that no off-field indiscretions were to occur for two years has been broken and there is no alternative but to impose a two-match suspension beginning with this Saturday's test," ARU Chief Executive John O'Neill said.


The suspension means Tuqiri will miss this weekend's Tri-Nations test against South Africa at Sydney's Olympic stadium and the July 21 clash against New Zealand in Auckland.


He will be allowed to remain within the Wallaby camp but will not be able to play for Australia again until the World Cup, which starts in France in September.



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Also: Warriors hooker Nathan Fien reaches a major milestone with his 150th NRL appearance in Saturday night's clash against his old North Queensland club in Townsville.


And captain Steve Price and winger Manu Vatuvei are both set to play their 50th NRL games for the club in the same game.


Fien, who turns 28 next month, moved to Auckland for the start of the 2005 season after a 91-game career with the Cowboys.


After recently signing a new two-year contract through to 2009, he'll have his 59th outing for the Warriors at Dairy Farmers Stadium.


Set to play his 23rd State of Origin game on Wednesday, Price (33) also made his debut for the club alongside Fien in the first round of the 2005 season. The 21-year-old Vatuvei, who has already played 11 tests for the Kiwis, began his top-level career against South Sydney in 2004.


But the most important statistic for the Warriors this weekend will be trying to secure another win to extend their run to four after last weekend's 22-6 victory against Gold Coast.


"The players produced one of our best performances of the year last weekend," said head coach Ivan Cleary.


"But while we've done well in the past few weeks to put some wins together, we have to keep things going to stay in contact in this competition."


The Warriors didn't return home this week after their clash against the Titans. They've been in camp on the Gold Coast, using the Burleigh Bears Rugby League Club at Pizzey Park as their training base before flying to Townsville on Friday.


Cleary named a team on Tuesday barely changed from the one that triumphed at Gold Coast Stadium, the win being the Warriors' third away success so far this season.


Price returns to the front row with Evarn Tuimavave dropping back a six-man bench; two players will be omitted closer to the match.


While Fien, Price and Vatuvei all reach personal milestones this week, another one is in store with Todd Byrne playing his 99th match on Saturday night.


The Warriors haven't beaten the Cowboys in Townsville since 2002 but have won the last two encounters between the clubs, winning 34-14 in Auckland in April and 26-0 at Mt Smart Stadium late last season.


In their last four matches, including the narrow loss to Melbourne, the Warriors have scored 90 points and conceded just 26.


And since being used by the side as a goal kicker, standoff Micheal Witt hasn't missed a goal, landing 13 consecutive attempts as well as scoring three tries for a total of 38 points. With his 10 points against the Titans he reached 50 for the season.


Micheal Luck, another player facing his old club on Saturday night, will be making his 40th consecutive appearance for the Warriors.


While the Warriors have Price involved in Wednesday night's Origin game, North Queensland have Johnathan Thurston, Matt Bowen and Carl Webb; Cowboys back rower Jacob Lillyman was originally selected but withdrew with injury.


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And this is what they call 'soccer'..... There were some positive signs for the New Zealand Under 20 football team despite a 2-nil defeat to Portugal in their opening World Cup match in Canada.


Both goals were scored by Portuguese striker Bruno Gama, who is touted at between $6-10 million dollars on the transfer market.


The Portuguese number seven opened the scoring with a stunning long range free kick from the edge of the penalty area in the first half.


Gama wrapped up the game with a penalty in the second stanza, giving the New Zealand goalkeeper no chance with a well struck spot kick into the bottam left hand corner of the net. It was a controversial penalty decision against the Kiwi team though and appeared to be a little harsh.


New Zealand coach Stu Jacobs said that while they are disappointed with the result they can take some heart from the fact that they came close to pulling the goals back.


Jacobs says they finished well and had some chances at the end to score some goals.


New Zealand's next match is on Friday against Gambia with their final group C match against Mexico on Monday


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I blame the 'famous' swiss army for this piece of news: There are indications that the rivalry between Alinghi and Team New Zealand is hotting up in Valencia.


The New Zealand Herald is reporting that a witness saw an Alinghi team member brandish a knife and make a throat cutting gesture at a Team NZ member after race six on Sunday morning.


It is believed the member was part of the support crew and shouted to Team NZ photographer Chris Cameron.


The Alinghi team member was on one of the small boats that are used to haul the yachts along the canal that leads to the Cup race course.


The boat had come to meet SUI 100 and tow it back to base when the exchange happened.


Several photographers on a nearby press boat, including Chris Cameron and Rob Griffin from Associated Press, were taking photos looking back at the Swiss boat when the threat was made.


According to the NZ Herald, Griffin saw an Alinghi team member raise a knife and make a throat-cutting gesture while at the same time beckoning Chris Cameron by yelling his name.


Griffin went on to describe the knife.


"[it had] a blade about 4 inches long. It was one of those pocket knives where the blade folds away and with a large circle at the base so you can stick your thumb in and flick it open.


"It was a serrated edge thing and it looked razor sharp - I'd say they use it for cutting through ropes in a hurry or something like that.


Griffin claims there was no mistaking the target of the gesture.


"He ...pointed at Chris. The intent was clear."


It is known that Cameron took some of the pictures which were used as evidence in the controversial protest hearing after race four, when Team NZ alleged that Alinghi had not complied with the rules governing the post-race lowering of the mainsail post-race.


The race jury ruled in a majority decision that there had been no breach by the Swiss-based team, and key Alinghi personnel were left fuming at spending over five hours in court during their valuable lay-day.


It is uncertain what action Team NZ will take over the incident, although it is not expected to affect in any way the race programme for the remainder of the series.


Alinghi currently leads 4-2 in the best of nine regatta.


Race seven is due to take place in Valencia on Wednesday morning.



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And then the news get's back to normal..... The threat of a terror attack at the America's Cup is not taken lightly by the host nation.


The Spanish government has called in the armed forces, navy, air force as well as police patrol boats to monitor everyone who comes and goes.


Kiwi fans, along with other visitors attending the event, must undergo bag searches. Security is so tight even anti-aircraft missiles are on hand to shoot down any unauthorised planes.


More than 200 police officers are on hand utilising radars, under water sonar detectors, 250 security cameras and 25 patrol boats.


Among the threats are the Basque separatist group, ETA, and Al Qaeda.


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