Former All Black and Waratahs player named for punching woman in the face


The appeal was heard in the New Zealand High Court in February, and Justice Davison released his decision late March – saying the public should know Guildford was behind the assault.

However, Guildford’s name couldn’t be published until now, to allow time for him to appeal the decision if he desired.

On Wednesday Guildford said he had chosen not to appeal again because he wanted to come clean and “take off his mask”.

“Through this whole thing I’ve tried to front up and take ownership of it, although it might not seem like it due to wanting name suppression.

“That’s because I was still hiding behind a lot of guilt and shame, but also still chasing the rugby dream. “Now in the job that I do love, I encourage other men to take their mask off, so evidently I’m taking mine off too.”

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Guildford has been working as mental health support worker in Wairarapa in New Zealand for several months, most recently as a suicide prevention and post-vention co-ordinator.

Justice Davison said even if there was a lot of media publicity about the case, the inevitable embarrassment and sense of shame for Guildford “are no more than would be the usual consequences of publicity to other persons convicted of similar offending whose offending is reported in the media”.

The 32-year-old has apologised to his victim personally, and taken part in a reconciliation meeting through the Ministry of Justice’s restorative justice programme.

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Super Rugby AU 2021: Highlanders coach Tony Brown, Aotearoa, Queensland Reds, Waratahs, Western Force, Rebels, Brumbies


The trans-Tasman bubble is officially open and already Australia’s New Zealand counterparts are licking their lips.

Fresh from their 35-29 win over the Blues that kept their Super Rugby Aotearoa finals hopes alive, Highlanders coach Tony Brown – Jamie Joseph’s right-hand man with Japan’s Sunwolves at the 2019 World Cup – was talking bullishly about the upcoming crossover competition.

“We just need out guys really believing they are as good as everyone else in this competition,” Brown said.

“Whatever happens around the playoff, around the Aotearoa comp, will happen, but going forward into the Australian leg, I think we can win all those games.

“If our guys believe they are good enough to do it, we’ll beat every team in that competition.”



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NSW Waratahs label Melbourne Rebels clash ‘must-win’ to avoid record-low season


The Rebels, meanwhile, can qualify for finals if they beat NSW, provided the Queensland Reds knock off the Force on Friday night.

Playmaker and captain Matt To’omua said a big showing was imperative.

“Now it’s the pointy end of the season and these are the games people will remember and the ones that matter,” To’omua said.

However, Haylett-Petty won’t be there. Coach Dave Wessels confirmed his star fullback, who hasn’t been seen this season after a picking up a concussion in last year’s Sydney Bledisloe Cup match, has passed all the necessary protocols but won’t take the field.

“He is fit but needs more training time,” Wessels said. “Available next week.”

If the Waratahs lose to the Rebels, it will be their eighth straight defeat. Since 1996, when Super Rugby started, the Waratahs’ longest losing run is a nine-game block across 2012 and 2013.

If the Waratahs lose to both the Rebels and Hurricanes, NSW will then face the Blues on May 22 to try to avoid the unwanted record of 10 straight losses.

A winless season across Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Trans-Tasman (13 games), would see the Waratahs notch up the longest losing streak of any Australian side in Super Rugby history.

Other poor runs of form include the Brumbies’ six straight losses in 1998, the Queensland Reds’ nine consecutive defeats in 2007 and the Western Force’s 10-game streak in 2015.

The Rebels hold the Australian record for losing 12 consecutive matches in 2011 and 2012.

Other teams to complete a Super Rugby season without a win include the Bulls in 2002, Lions in 2010 and Chiefs in Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2020.

The Force are the only other Australian team to have also started a season 0-7, losing nine games on the bounce in 2006. They also lost all eight matches in 2020.

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The Waratahs have shown greater fight in their two games since coach Rob Penney was sacked, against the Brumbies and Force, but they are still on track for an all-time low season.

NSW has scored 16.1 points per game this season, fewer than the 2009 team (18 points).

In defence, the Waratahs have leaked 36.6 points a game, which is more than the disastrous year of 2017, when they conceded 34.8 points per game.

And only once in the past 25 years have the Waratahs finished the season with a points differential worse than minus 100. That was in 2017, when they ended up on minus 126. This year’s tally is currently minus 143.

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Western Force vs Waratahs Tips, Odds and Betting – Super Rugby Australia 2021


nib Stadium will play host to Saturday”s
Round 9 Super Rugby game between Western Force and
Waratahs. The game kicks off at 7:45 pm with Western Force heading into the game as favourites with the bookmakers. Continue reading for our in-depth preview of the Western Force vs.
Waratahs
game and give you our free tips and bets.

When: Saturday April 17, 2021 at 7:45 pm

Where: nib Stadium

Bet 💰: Bet On This Match
HERE

Western Force vs Waratahs Odds

Western Force vs Waratahs Preview

Staring down the barrel of an imperfect, winless Super Rugby AU campaign, the Waratahs face possibly their last chance to get off the mark when they head to Perth.

Having had a bye last week, you might have been able to forget just how atrociously they have been playing through the opening rounds of the season.

The return of Jake Gordon gave them a spark of life against the Brumbies in their last outing but they still remain firmly in “back against at all costs” territory.

Having picked up a huge win over the Rebels last week, the Force still remain in contention for a spot in the Preliminary Final if they can win their final two matches.

Needing a bonus point victory from this game to give themselves a fighting chance going into the final round I’ll back the Force to rally with the crowd behind them and pick up a much needed win.

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Western Force vs Waratahs Tip





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‘It’s gut-wrenching’: Miffed Waratahs to examine angles of critical penalties



NSW will examine all angles of some critical penalties in their one-point loss to the Force before deciding whether they’ll ask Rugby Australia for an official explanation.

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Batger spray hits nerve as Waratahs defend picking Donaldson over Edmed


The criticism of Donaldson, however, did not go down well at Randwick. Club figures the Herald spoke to were angered by Batger’s remarks about the 22-year-old but did not want to hit back publicly.

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The comments have certainly caused a stir in the Waratahs’ inner sanctum too and could be a distraction heading into the match.

It is understood multiple clubs have been in contact with Eastwood to lend their support to Batger, who wanted to make the point that Waratahs players need to spend more time honing their craft in the Shute Shield.

Adding further intrigue is the fact the Waratahs asked Eastwood and Randwick to start Edmed and Donaldson in last weekend’s opening round of club rugby.

While Donaldson steered Randwick to victory, Batger opted against picking Edmed in his starting XV against the Western Sydney Two Blues.

It is understood Batger didn’t want to ruin the starting team’s cohesion, knowing Eastwood have two big games coming up against Southern Districts and Sydney University.

Whitaker went to watch Edmed, while fellow co-coach Jason Gilmore was assigned to see Donaldson play.

The Waratahs wanted Edmed to get maximum minutes and are privately frustrated that Batger put his club’s interests first.

Whitaker denied the decision had anything to do with Donaldson’s selection.

“There’s not much between the two of them,” Whitaker said. “I just thought in that game Donno looked quite relaxed and calm. It was probably tough on Tane because he came on against Parramatta when the game was already won.

“We know what both of them can do and offer. We get to work with these guys every day. We just thought for this game against the Force that we want to start with Donno.

“Ben has trained really well, he’s had a really good week. He’s been back training with us for three or four weeks now [after his quad injury]. We’ve kept a close eye on him, he’s doing lots of skill work. We’ve got all the confidence in the world in them. They’re both going to play a part in this game. There is no doubt about that.

“This is Donno’s second year. He played 50 minutes against the Reds last year. We’ve picked the best team we can pick that we think can beat the Force.”

Asked about the difference in styles, Whitaker said Donaldson had a bit of Stephen Larkham about him.

“Donno is more of a classical [No.10], almost like a Stephen Larkham kind of stay square player,” Whitaker said. “Tane is 20 and still learning. He’s got the ability to run and take the line on but also he’s still working on the basics of five-eighth play.”

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Whitaker didn’t want to be drawn on Batger’s claim there was a Randwick bias at the Waratahs, however did note Eastern Suburbs had the greatest representation of players in the team for this upcoming match.

In team news, Hugh Sinclair shifts to the second row to accommodate Lachlan Swinton who is returning from injury. The Waratahs have opted for an extra forward on their bench, with Charlie Gamble coming into the 23.

The Waratahs have lost all six games this season but Whitaker said there was confidence in the group after a narrow loss to the Brumbies in the wake of coach Rob Penney’s sacking.

“When you get the news your head coach has been let go, it’s natural the boys bounce back from that,” Whitaker said. “Now the challenge is we’ve got to do it again.”

Western Force vs NSW Waratahs, HBF Park, Saturday 7:45pm AEST

Force 1-15: Tom Robertson, Feleti Kaitu’u, Santiago Medrano, Jeremy Thrush, Sitaleki Timani, Tim Anstee, Kane Koteka, Brynard Stander, Tomas Cubelli, Domingo Miotti, Jordan Olowofela, Kyle Godwin, Tevita Kuridrani, Richard Kahui, Jack McGregor.

Bench: Andrew Ready, Angus Wagner, Greg Holmes, Ryan McCauley, Fergus Lee-Warner, Ian Prior, Grason Makara, Jake Strachan.

Waratahs (1-15): Angus Bell, Dave Porecki, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Hugh Sinclair, Max Douglas, Lachlan Swinton, Carlo Tizzano, Will Harris, Jake Gordon, Ben Donaldson, James Ramm, Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Alex Newsome, Jack Maddocks.

Bench: Tom Horton, Tetera Faulkner, Darcy Breen, Sam Caird, Jeremy Williams, Charlie Gamble, Jack Grant, Tane Edmed.

Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies, AAMI Park, Sunday 2pm AEST

Rebels 1-15: Matt Gibbon, James Hanson, Pone Fa’amausili, Rob Leota, Trevor Hosea, Josh Kemeny, Richard Hardwick, Michael Wells, Joe Powell, Matt To’omua, Marika Koroibete, Campbell Magnay, Stacey Ili, Frank Lomani, Tom Pincus.

Bench (to select from): Jordan Uelese, Cabous Eloff, Cameron Orr, Lucio Sordoni, Ross Haylett-Petty, Isi Naisarani, Brad Wilkin, James Tuttle, Lewis Holland, Glen Vaihu.

Brumbies 1-15: Scott Sio, Folau Fainga’a, Allan Alaalatoa, Darcy Swain, Cadeyrn Neville, James Tucker, Rory Scott, Rob Valetini, Ryan Lonergan, Noah Lolesio, Tom Wright, Bayley Kuenzle, Len Ikitau, Andy Muirhead, Tom Banks.

Bench: Lachlan Lonergan, James Slipper, Tom Ross, Nick Frost, Will Miller, Nic White, Reesjan Pasitoa, Mack Hansen.

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Western Force to go after Ben Donaldson but NSW Waratahs back rookie No.10 to shine


The Western Force have declared their intention to go after rookie Waratahs No.10 Ben Donaldson but NSW co-coach Jason Gilmore is adamant the 22-year-old will handle the traffic and come through with the goods after having his position in the team questioned this week.

Force coach Tim Sampson praised the new Waratahs playmaker, who will make his first start at Super Rugby level in the must-win match in their penultimate round of Super Rugby AU’s regular season, and said he would come in for special attention.

Ben Donaldson playing for Randwick.

Ben Donaldson playing for Randwick.Credit:Karen Watson

“He’s quite a skilful young fella and has a nice passing game,” Sampson said. “He’ll be a handful but we’re going to put a lot of pressure through that area of the field with our defence. We’ll try and take away his space.”

Force captain Kyle Godwin added: “We’d be wanting to put pressure on him.”

Gilmore hit back, saying Donaldson’s calm character would help him overcome any Force barrage and reiterated Chris Whitaker’s promise that he was ready for a maiden Super Rugby start, having come off the bench a number of times last season.

“Every No.10 gets pressure put on them. It’s no different for [Force five-eighth Domingo] Miotti with us. We want to make him as uncomfortable as we can,” Gilmore said. “Donno is a pretty laid-back style of guy. He takes everything in his stride, so he’s a pretty composed player. He’s coming back from injury, played pretty well for Randwick [on Saturday], so he’s coming into this game feeling pretty good about himself. Tane [Edmed] is just behind him. We’re pretty confident with those two.”

The selection of Donaldson over Edmed has prompted debate in NSW rugby circles following Eastwood coach Ben Batger’s insistence that Edmed should have been picked.

Batger said it was “crazy” to pick Donaldson and slammed the logic of going with a player with next to no football under his belt this year.

“I definitely think people have forgotten about him,” said Gilmore of Donaldson, who he coached in the 2019 Junior Wallabies team. “Last year he played a lot of Shute Shield, came off the bench behind [Will Harrison], got some really good minutes against the Reds at the SCG and played really well.

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‘It’s crazy’: Eastwood coach slams call to hand Donaldson Waratahs No.10 jersey


“It’s a real bitter pill for me to swallow as his coach. What does he have to do to get the starting jersey?

“It’s crazy. The Waratahs dig their own grave sometimes. They’ve only got themselves to blame for certain things.”

Following Rob Penney’s departure, interim coaches Chris Whitaker and Jason Gilmore are in charge of picking the team. The Waratahs have two regular season matches remaining.

Eastwood and Waratahs playmaker Tane Edmed. Credit:Rhett Wyman

Donaldson played under Gilmore at the 2019 under-20 world championships, where Australia lost 24-23 to France in the final. Harrison was the team’s starting No.10, however Donaldson did play there in the semi-final but was used mostly off the bench.

Donaldson has been touted for a number of years as a player of promise and NSW may be simply experimenting with him at No.10 given their Super Rugby AU season is all but over. He was a regular bench player for the Waratahs last season as a back-up option to Harrison.

Ironically Edmed, 20, left Randwick to take up an opportunity with Eastwood because he was behind Harrison and Donaldson in the pecking order at club level.

“They’re clearly not rewarding Shute Shield form at all, which is disappointing for us in club land,” Batger said.

“I’m sick of everyone talking up that great 2019 under-20s team. They made one finals appearance and they sunk a hell of a lot of resources into that tournament. They still were only runners up. I played in the 2005 team that was runners up and I think all 15 of us were playing Super Rugby at that time. They seem to be getting a saloon passage everywhere in Australian rugby. Their breeding ground is right at their doorstep and they’re not honouring it.

“From the outside looking in, there appears to be no rhyme or reason to rush a guy in. If it was an experienced campaigner, say a Jono Lance, you completely understand. They can’t say it’s an experience thing. I would dare suggest Tane has played more senior games against men than Ben Donaldson. They can’t use form because Donaldson hasn’t been playing. They can’t use runs on the board; he doesn’t have any.”

Batger even took aim at the Galloping Greens, suggesting they were being given preferential treatment.

“If these guys are all so good, no one has got a chance of winning the Shute Shield at the back end of the year because Randwick have a mortgage,” Batger said. “They have brought in Mitch Short from Randwick, Will Harrison, Ben Donaldson, Izaia Perese and James Ramm. From the outside looking in, it certainly does seem to help if you have a green jersey on your back.”

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Edmed is understood to have taken the news in his stride but so incensed is Batger that he threw up the idea of the prodigious youngster looking to take his talents elsewhere.

“I’d be telling him to look at options,” Batger said. “If you’re the third-choice five-eighth … he could potentially look at being a first-choice five-eighth [elsewhere]. The Force is one to look at. You could almost build a franchise around Tane, in my opinion. That’s how highly I regard him.”

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Swinton set for Waratahs return as Hodge sidelined for two months


The Waraths are set to welcome Lachlan Swinton straight back into their starting XV ahead of their two best chances to ensure they’re not the first Australian Super Rugby side to finish a season without a win.

Swinton has not played since suffering an ankle injury in the 33-14 loss to the Rebels in round five, missing the 46-14 flogging at the hands of the undefeated Reds and the much improved two-point loss against the Brumbies.

Lachlan Swinton is set to return to the Waratahs’ side this week.Credit:Stu Walmsley/Rugby Australia

The one-Test Wallaby has battled with a niggling foot injury but sources with knowledge of the situation told the Herald he could have received a pain killing injection and played against ACT if the match was high stakes.

Waratahs medical staff instead took the cautious route given the club had the bye last week and while he still has to get through training in the next two days, NSW expect the 24-year-old to start against the Force at HBF Park on Friday night.

Swinton will almost certainly line up alongside Carlo Tizzano and Will Harris in the back row, leaving interim co-coaches Jason Gilmore and Chris Whitaker with a rare selection headache.

Hugh Sinclair may push one of Max Douglas or Jeremy Williams to the bench but with his versatility in mind, the Norths stalwart may also start the match on the bench.

Swinton’s return is timely as the Waratahs are still yet to register a win this season.

With trans-Tasman Super Rugby now certain to go ahead, clashes with the Force and Rebels in the next fortnight give NSW their best chance to avoid a dreaded zero-win season.

No Australian club in the competition’s 25-year history has ever finished a season without winning a match.

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Improved NSW Waratahs players knew they were next on chopping block


1. Accountability returns to the Waratahs.

The NSW players said after their loss to the Brumbies that they had “played for Rob Penney”, but players also play for themselves. Penney had taken so many bullets for his team that he had turned himself into a human shield. When he got the bullet himself, the players must have realised that they either had to front or be next in line. That’s a slightly cynical take but self-interest is a powerful motivator.

Will Harrison of the Waratahs is consoled by Brumbies players after missing a conversion to draw the game.

Will Harrison of the Waratahs is consoled by Brumbies players after missing a conversion to draw the game.Credit:Getty

More heat on the players might be coming from another source, too. Joint interim coach Jason Gilmore was visibly filthy with No.10 Will Harrison following a kick error on 69 minutes at the SCG, with the score 24-17 to the Brumbies. They’ll need that sort of honesty, too, because the danger is the Waratahs get slack again for winning some praise for an improved, but ultimately losing, performance against a flat Brumbies side.

The moment of the weekend, however, was the comfort Brumbies players offered to Harrison after his missed kick at the death. It was classy that Brumbies opposite Noah Lolesio, who hammered his rival in one second-half tackle, was one of them.

2. Reds go top of the SMH trans-Tasman power rankings ladder.

The Reds are now the only unbeaten side in either Australia or New Zealand, and that has to be worth something. Sure, you could argue the Kiwi competition is stronger (and I would) but the Crusaders were so comprehensively beaten by the Highlanders in Christchurch on Friday it would be hard to keep them on top.

The Brumbies slip a place despite winning, as they were a tad fortunate not to lose to the weakest team in the competition.

Cully’s Super Rugby power list

1. Reds

2. Crusaders

3. Blues

4. Brumbies

5. Highlanders

6. Chiefs

7. Rebels

8. Hurricanes

9. Force

10. Waratahs 

3. Did the snubbed Wallabies “fire up”?

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