Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1082 ( Monday 23 March 2015 )


1a ) Another military shooting at Papua rally

23 March 2015

One person has been killed and three wounded in a shooting in West Papua that rights groups claim was another act of brutality by the Indonesian military at a peaceful rally.

Tabloid Jubi reports a fundraising campaign was held late last week for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which has made a bid to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

The paper reports the Yahukimo District Police and a mobile brigade arrived and started tearing down the stage, confiscating banners, megaphones and cameras and used force to disband the crowd.

The crowd became angry at the heavy-handed approach by the security forces and in the melee that followed, Brimob members fired at the crowd, killing one person and wounding three others.

According to the police, the organisers did not have a permit to hold the event.

The Free West Papua Campaign claims the event was also a fundraiser for victims of Cyclone Pam.RNZI

1b ) INFOMESEN long saed blong RELIEF KAKAE long PORT VILA mo EFATE RURAL we i kamaot YESTEDE

Infomesen we igo long ol man mo ol woman long Port Vila mo Efate rural (i kam long Ofis blong PM)

NDMO wetem PVMC mo SHEFA provins bae oli stat givem out ol kakae tudei (Sandei) long ol 6 wards insaed Port Vila. Ol i go fest taem long Northern mo Anamborou be afta igo long narafala 4 wards tumoro (Mandei)

Tumoro, NDMO stat givem aor ol tarpaulins long ol man mo ol woman we ol i stap finis insaed long evacuation sentas. Fest wan em i Northern ward we i gat 400 man we i stap. Taem ol man mo ol woman ol i bin resivem tarpaulins ol i mas go bak long ples blong olgeta. Kakae ol i kam long kommunitis mo evacuation sentas bae i klos finis.

Fest distribusen ia go insaed long plan blong distribusen long ol Efate – mifala hop se ol kakae mo shelta i stat go aot long Efate tumoro.

Information for residents of Port Vila & Efate rural

The NDMO in conjunction with PVMC and SHEFA province will commence distribution of food aid to the 6 wards of Port Vila today (Sunday). The sequencing of the distribution commences with Northern ward and Anamborou today and will continue with the remaining 4 wards tomorrow (Monday).

Tomorrow NDMO will activate distribution of shelter materials to those who remain in evacuation centres commencing with the centre at Vila North where 400 people are currently located. Once people have received tarpaulins, they are to return to their normal places of residence and that is where further food aid will be distributed. Evacuation centres will be closed when tarpaulins have been issued.

This initial distribution will then be channelled into the existing plan for the whole of Efate which will anticipates the commencement of distribution of shelter and food supplies in rural Efate during tomorrow.

From : MP Ralph Regenvanu –


2) Chiefs break their silence

By Online Editor
01:13 am GMT+12, 23/03/2015, Samoa

A group of village chiefs in Samoa has broken its silence over an investigation by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) into an official complaint they filed last year.

The decision follows what they describe as a snub by ADB in the distribution of the final report on the investigation findings, released last week.

What’s more, the group’s spokesperson, Fiu Mataese Elisara said Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has openly ridiculed their complaint in media interviews and yet the government should have been bound by the agreement they had with the Bank.

The group is made up of Fiu, of Sili, Leuluaiali’i Tasi Malifa, of Afega, Telei’ai Dr. Sapa Saifaleupolu, of Samatau and Lilomaiava Ken Lameta, of Vaimoso and Safotu.

Last year, they filed a letter of complaint against the ADB over a project they fear could alienate 80 per cent of customary land in Samoa.

In December last year, during talks with an ADB investigation team sent to look into their complaint, Fiu said they were told not to speak with the media until a report was complete.

Last Friday, they broke their silence in the belief that they were accountable to 80 percent of the Samoan people affected by the issue and to their supporters. Fiu said they found out that the final report had been released but restricted to stakeholders until ADB was satisfied with the content, then it would be published on their website.

“We found this to be quite irritating,” Fiu said. “I emailed them and conveyed our concerns about the process.”

The ordeal dates back some years. In its letter of complaint, the group of matai stated that their research showed the ADB and the government of Samoa began their customary land project some 15 years ago, ending in a number of laws, including the Land Titles Registration Act 2008, and the Customary Land Advisory Commission Act 2013.

“We are concerned that the ongoing funding by ADB to help our government implement its intention to allow use of our customary lands as collateral for economic development is tantamount to ultimately alienation of our customary lands, and thereby lead to violation of the rights of our Samoan people here and overseas.”

The group argues that there was no proper consultation process. So the four matai’s launched their first complaint with ADB in 2013. This was rejected by the ADB.

it was later found, after the complaint was submitted with the Office of the Special Project Facilitator, that they had a case.

A six-member team was sent to Samoa late last year for three weeks to investigate the complaint.

Meetings were held in Upolu and Savai’i and with prominent people in the civil service who were involved with the first round of consultations.

A Roundtable meeting was held and attended by the four matai, with representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development. The Customary Land Advisory Committee (CLAC) was also represented.

“It was to try and see whether there is a way forward in terms of a solution,” said Fiu.

Ground rules were set by the visitors. Included were to refrain from discussing the matter further with the media until the release of the report on their findings.

“We have been mum since then,” Fiu said. “But our obligation is to the eighty per cent of the people who own customary land and not necessarily to ADB.”

The delegates at the Roundtable meeting were given opportunities to comment on the draft report with a deadline set for February this year.

The four matai complied. It was only when they asked about the final report that they were told by the Office of the Special Project Facilitator (OSF) that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has yet to submit their comments. This, they found disturbing, as a deadline was not met by government and OSPF was supposed to proceed as an independent body.

“It seems as if the whole process had been stacked in favour of government. We’ve waited too long.

People of this country were saying that government is too strong for you guys. But we were respecting ground rules,” said Fiu.

He added that Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Maleilangoi had called them names in his weekly radio programmes when he should be bound by the same rules.

“We believe that we should not be suppressed. We want to get this out regardless.”

They will continue to fight against the use of customary land as collateral, arguing that the collective owners of customary land must be consulted. The matai want six meetings in Savai’i, two meetings in Upolu, three in Australia, three in New Zealand and for the Samoans in the U.S.A. to be included. This, Fiu said, will capture the diaspora.

“We believe we have a very strong and powerful case. We hope to make changes. This is a key year for coming elections.”

“If they continue to exploit and extract without due regard to nature and the creation God gave us, it will have a negative impact on our people.”

The Sunday Observer was not able to get a comment from the ADB.


3) American Samoa Gets New Representative
Fills vacancy created by late rep’s passing

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 23, 2015) – Matagi David Sialega Mauga has won a special election in American Samoa.

Matagi fills the vacancy created by the passing of the late Representative Lemapu Suiaunoa Talo who won the District Number 6 seat last November but who died in December.

Matagi won 168 votes while his challenger, Limutau Limutau, received 146 votes and Filia’e Eliapo 39.

Radio New Zealand International


4) Bikinians want to evacuate to the U.S

By Online Editor
01:20 am GMT+12, 23/03/2015, Marshall Islands

On the 69th anniversary of their original evacuation for nuclear weapons testing, Bikini Islanders announced Friday they want to move their population in exile to the United States.

Bikini Mayor Nishma Jamore said Bikinians want to leave both Kili and the Ejit islands where they have lived in exile for decades because Bikini Atoll, site of 24 nuclear tests including “Bravo,” America’s largest hydrogen bomb detonation, remains too radioactive for safe resettlement.

First it was nuclear tests, now it is climate change that is pushing the islanders to evacuate their two main island homes, said Jamore. Increasingly bad flooding from high tides and storms on both islands prompted Bikini leaders to bring up the concern with U.S. Assistant Secretary of Interior Esther Kia’aina during her visit to Majuro earlier this month.

“We want to relocate to the United States,” said Jamore. “Kili has been repeatedly flooded since 2012 and we’ve asked the Marshall Islands government for help with no response.” Added to this is the Nitijela’s (parliament’s) recent legislative move to take authority for Ejit Island away from the Bikinians.

Kili Island’s main village area was flooded when annual king tides in February washed over the small island, which has been home to the displaced islanders since 1948 — two years after U.S. nuclear testing began on Bikini Atoll. Bikini Atoll Local Government photo

This is not the first time the Bikinians have considered resettling in the U.S. In the 1980s, following an aborted resettlement at Bikini that ended with Bikinians being exposed to high levels of radiation in the environment, the exiled islanders sought to buy a large tract of land in Maui in the state of Hawaii for resettling the population. But the plan was vetoed when it ran into considerable opposition from Maui residents.

Now the resettlement option is gaining steam because of saltwater inundations that have repeatedly flooded Kili and Ejit, causing damage to homes and agriculture.

“We’re going to Washington next month,” the mayor said. The aim is to further the plan for relocating Kili and Ejit populations to three locations in the U.S., which Jamore identified as Arkansas, Oklahoma and the Big Island of Hawaii. There are already significant populations of Bikini islanders in these three locations, he said.

Jamore and Bikini Council executives would like to use their trust fund to purchase property for a resettlement. “We have asked the Interior Department if we can change the policy of the trust fund agreement (to allow for property purchases in the U.S.),” he said, adding Kia’aina was encouraging in her response. Currently the U.S.-provided Bikini trust fund allows for property purchase only in the Marshall Islands. “This will give the people options for education and jobs,” he said of the three potential resettlement locations.

The latest flooding at Kili hit last month during annual high tides, which turned Kili’s runway into “the Nile River,” according to Jamore. The entire runway, nearly a mile long, was flooded with about two feet of saltwater. The tides flooded most of Kili with two-foot-deep salt water last month, causing damage to homes and local food crops.



5) Call For Australia To Revisit Removal Of Norfolk Autonomy
Would shift fed and state level power to local government status

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 23, 2015) – A former chief minister of Norfolk Island says Australia will have to re-think plans to remove the island’s autonomy.

Since 1979 Norfolk Island has federal and state level power but under new legislation Canberra will cut this to local government status.

The Australian government says the changes are necessary and long overdue.

But former chief minister and businessman, Andre Nobbs, says he and many others on Norfolk are gutted by the planned changes.

He says Canberra will need to rethink, not least because of the cost to the Australian taxpayer.

“Compared to the model that we were using before that was more about practical delivery and good work ethic and making a productive outcome from the island rather than turning it into a welfare state. Do I think that they will reconsider it in Canberra? I think at some point they’re going to have to. I just hope that it occurs before they’ve decimated the race of people that call Norfolk home.”

Former Norfolk chief minister, Andre Nobbs.

Radio New Zealand International


6) PNG bai hostim FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup

Postim 23 March 2015, 14:50 AEDT
Edward Torai

Sports blong ol meri insait long Papua New Guinea  bai gat sans lo kamap moa taim FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup bai i kam lo kantri long  2016.

PNG Football Association itok displa i bai wanpela bigpela samting we bai kamap lo nesen na ol i hamamas turu.

CEO na General Secretary lo PNGFA Dimirit Mileng i tok tenkyu lo gavman lo halivim ol lo mekim dispela bid.

Em i tok gavman bai go pas lo wokim graun wok wantaim FIFA lo displa bigpla pilai na ol i bai wok arasait wantaim ol.Radio Australia

7) PNG Sepik Art Sho long Europe

Updated 23 March 2015, 14:17 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Despla sho ibin stat long Germany long trinde long wik igo pinis.

Ol Carving, art na stori blong ol pipal blong Sepik long Papua New Guinea nau istap long wanpla bikpla exhibition long Europe.

Oli kolim despla show long Dance of the Ancestors – Art blong Sepik , na oli kam long planti hap blong Sepik.

Long Papua New Guinea, ol Art na ol narapla bilip na stori blong bifo istap strong  iet, na tu emi save pulim laik oa interest ikam long planti pipal blong ol narapla kantri.

Nau i luk olsem despla show emi stap nau long Berlin, biktaon blong Germany bai go tu Switzerland na bikhaen igo long France.

Helen Dennet  emi wanpla meri blong Australia na emi gat bikpla laik na save long ol Art blong ol Sepik pipal stat long taem emi bin skul tisa long ol Sepik long ol 1960’ Austraia


8) Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 23 mars 2015

Posté à 23 March 2015, 16:23 AEDT
Élodie Largenton

Une personne a été tuée et trois autres blessées dans une fusillade en Papouasie occidentale, rapporte le journal local Tabloid Jubi.

La police aurait ouvert le feu lors d’un rassemblement destiné à recueillir des fonds pour la Fédération des organisations indépendantistes de Papouasie occidentale, qui cherche à rejoindre le Groupe mélanésien Fer de Lance. La manifestation n’avait pas été autorisée, a déclaré la police au journal.

  • Le cyclone Nathan continue sa route au nord de l’Australie. Le pire a été évité sur l’île d’Elcho, mais le cyclone regagne en puissance à mesure qu’il se déplace le long de la côte du Territoire du Nord. Devant le risque qu’il atteigne la catégorie 3 sur 5, les autorités ont décidé d’évacuer la population de la petite île de Goulburn, par avion. L’opération devait durer toute la journée.
  • Les palangriers ont obtenu gain de cause aux Samoa américaines : ils vont pouvoir pêcher dans la zone marine protégée. C’est le Conseil de la gestion des pêches du Pacifique ouest qui a donné son accord, pour une durée d’un an, renouvelable. Selon ce Conseil, la zone qui s’étend jusqu’à 50 milles marins au large des côtes est sous-exploitée actuellement. Or, le secteur local de la pêche est en grande difficulté. Les pêcheurs à la palangre se réjouissent, évidemment, de cette décision, mais la colère gronde au sein de la classe politique. Le sénateur Mauga y voit des relents du colonialisme. Son collègue, Galea’i Tu’ufuli, entend, lui, porter l’affaire devant l’Onu, soulignant que les États-Unis n’ont pas le pouvoir absolu sur les Samoa américaines.
  • Une loi pour mieux lutter contre la violence domestique est en préparation aux Îles Cook. Cela impliquerait des changements en matière de divorce, de prise en charge des enfants, et de soutien financier aux mères célibataires. Le projet de loi doit encore être adopté par les parlementaires. Selon le journal Cooks Islands News, une femme sur trois est victime de violence physique ou sexuelle durant sa vie, dans l’archipel.Radio Australia


9) USP campus in Vanuatu re-opens

Monday, March 23, 2015

Update: 7:46PM THE University of the South Pacific’s Emalus Campus in Vanuatu re-opened for classes today.

A statement from USP said students turned up in numbers on the first day of studies after the destruction caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam.

“There is a lot of enthusiasm amongst staff and students as we take the academic year forward despite the setback that has been experienced,” the statement said.

“Classes will however need to finish before 6pm daily due to the curfew placed nationwide.”Fijitimes


10) PNG Tribunal finds MP guilty of misappropriation

23 march 2015

A leadership tribunal in Papua New Guinea has found the MP for Manus, Ronnie Knight, guilty of four charges of misappropriation.

The tribunal ruled that he was not guilty of another charge of intentionally misapplying 245 thousand US dollars of district funds.

Mr Knight was found guilty of intentionally misapplying 24 thousand dollars of funds between January and August 2013.

He was also found guilty of misappropriating 68 thousand dollars and using that money for unlawfully.

The Post Courier reports the final allegation he was found guilty of was failing disclose a conflict of interest before voting on a matter before a district budgeting committee.RNZI

11) Villagers in custody after drug bust

Monday, March 23, 2015

Update: 11:55AM TWO villagers are in police custody after dried leaves believed to be marijuana were recovered from their farms.

Police raided their farms at Viani in Cakaudrove after a tip-off.

A police statement said 147 plants and a bag containing dried leaves believed to be marijuana were allegedly recovered from the farms of the 27 and 37-year-old villagers.Fijitimes


12) Cyclone Pam: Australia pledges long-term support for Vanuatu as more aid arrives on archipelago

Updated 23 March 2015, 12:20 AEDT

The Australian Navy’s heavy landing ship HMAS Tobruk arrives in Vanuatu to help with rescue efforts in the cyclone-hit country.

HMAS Tobruk lifts supplies from the wharf at the Port of Townsville onto its deck in preparation for their departure for Operation Pacific Assist. (Credit: ABC licensed)

The Australian Navy’s heavy landing ship HMAS Tobruk has arrived in Vanuatu to help with rescue efforts in the cyclone-hit country.

HMAS Tobruk is carrying more than 300 personnel and a helicopter to carry out reconnaissance and assistance on Vanuatu’s outlying islands.

Category five Cyclone Pam hit the Pacific archipelago on March 13 and 14, flattening large swathes of the country.

The United Nations estimated half of Vanuatu’s population had been affected by the cyclone and the livelihoods of 80 per cent of those living in rural areas had been severely compromised.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said 166,000 people were estimated to need food aid for the next three months.

Vanuatu babies named Pam after tropical cyclone

Pam and Pamela have suddenly become popular names for new babies in Vanuatu since the country was hit by Cyclone Pam last Friday.

It said most evacuation centres on the most populous island, Efate, could be closed if emergency shelter and food aid was distributed in communities of origin.

The UN identified Mataso, part of the Shepherd Islands, as having the most urgent needs as it was hit particularly hard.

Cyclone Pam destroyed all shelter and trees on the island and more tarpaulins were desperately needed.

OCHA said infants were falling sick because of overexposure to the sun.

A United Nations Pacific representative, Osnat Lubrani, said food and water supplies were reaching those who needed it most.

“Yesterday, a boat carrying five tonnes of food arrived in the Shepherd Islands and began producing 10,000 litres of safe drinking water and it’s going to supply clean drinking water and medical care to six islands,” she said.

Australia pledges ongoing support

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop pledged long-term support for Vanuatu during a visit yesterday to the capital Port Vila, where she toured the command centre for cyclone relief efforts.

She said the impact of Cyclone Pam had been devastating and widespread and Australia had responded quickly to requests from the government of Vanuatu, sending more than 11 military planes with equipment, lifesaving supplies and humanitarian support personnel.

“Buildings, roads, infrastructure are flattened, but the people of Vanuatu are getting on with the job of cleaning up and the long road to recovery,” she said.

#withVanuatuDonate here 811

“I was delighted to see so many Australians on the ground, working with the local people in rebuilding houses, putting schools back together.

“We had a medical team at Port Vila who, since last Sunday, have treated about 600 people.”

Ms Bishop urged Australians to travel to Vanuatu once the initial crisis was over and use their tourist dollars to help rebuild the country.

She said Australia would consider helping by expanding work opportunities for Vanuatu citizens as well as the $10 million of aid already pledged.

Ms Bishop’s offer of ongoing support came in a meeting with Vanuatu’s prime minister Joe Natuman.

A handful of schools in Vanuatu will open their doors to hundreds of students today, 10 days after Cyclone Pam tore across the country.

About 500 schools were damaged or destroyed during the storm.

Two schools will open in the capital Port Vila, while up to 10 others will also open on the island of Efate.

Pam a stark reminder of the ‘vulnerability’ of small island states

The Marshall Islands president Christopher Loeak said stronger cyclones in the Pacific meant the world was in for a “constant climate catastrophe”.

Mr Loeak said Cyclone Pam was a stark reminder of the vulnerability of small island states to climate change.

He told Radio Australia the Marshall Islands and nearby Pacific nations were faced with serious climate change threats.

“More and more places, especially the most vulnerable, especially the Marshall Islands, will be hit by these strong disasters,” he said.

“Climate change is the the number one threat to our economy now and our security and livelihood.”

Mr Loeak said the conviction that climate change was caused by pollution was widespread and held in powerful circles.

He said the Pacific was taking heart from moves within the biggest polluting countries to address carbon pollution.

He said an emergency meeting of the Alliance of Small Island States to be held this week will consider offering ongoing assistance to Vanuatu, in acknowledgement of the damage caused by the most powerful cyclone ever to hit the country.

“Despite our size and our economies, I think we are all doing our part not only


13) PNG to host Women’s Under 20 soccer world cup in 2016
By Online Editor
01:56 am GMT+12, 23/03/2015, Papua New Guinea

It is the first time a Pacific island country has won the bid to host a major FIFA-endorsed international tournament.

The Prime Minister welcomed the announcement as another example of PNG coming of age in many forums.

“Papua New Guinea will proudly host the rising stars of global soccer at our world-class football facilities,” O’Neill said.

“Being awarded the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2016 is a major victory for Papua New Guinea as a country that can host world events.

“We have the sporting facilities that are being built for the Pacific Games, as well as other infrastructure. This includes Sir John Guise Stadium and Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, and our stadiums in Lae and Kokopo.

“Games infrastructure will also be used for teams in maintaining their fitness and training during the tournament.

“Papua New Guinea is a country where our people can now aim high to bring events such as this FIFA tournament and the APEC summit in 2018.

“The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2016 will be delivered according to the highest technical standards, alongside a display of Papua New Guinea’s hospitality, culture and other tourist attractions.”

PM O’Neill has announced that an organising committee would be set up in consultation with PNG soccer.


14) Pacific Challenge: Fiji leads Argentina

Monday, March 23, 2015

Update: 6:01PM THE Telecom Fiji Warriors is leading the Argentina Pampas 9-7 in the final of the World Rugby Pacific Challenge.

Serupepeli Vulairika kicked three penalties for the Warriors while Santiago Cordero touched down for a try for the Pampas.

The Telecom Fiji Warriors is playing the final in memory of the their tight head prop Iosefo Bele Tabalala who died at the team’s hotel camp.

Bele failed to wake up on Saturday morning.Fijitimes

15) Cape Town joins World Rugby Sevens Series from 2015-16

By Online Editor
01:58 am GMT+12, 23/03/2015, South Africa

South Africa’s gem Cape Town joins an impressive new line-up of iconic cities hosting a round of the World Rugby Sevens.

The South Africa Sevens will relocate to the impressive Cape Town Stadium for the four-year cycle following a successful spell in Port Elizabeth. The move to a major international destination will enable more fans to watch the world’s top male players in action in an Olympic year.

Cape Town joins Vancouver and Sydney within a stellar line-up of new destinations, reflecting the significant appeal and attraction of rugby sevens to cities and nations worldwide.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “With excitement increasing ahead of Rio 2016, the World Rugby Sevens Series is going from strength to strength, proving a hit with fans, broadcasters and sponsors around the globe with its winning blend of compelling and competitive action, global destinations and festival atmosphere.

“The South Africa Sevens has been at the heart of the success story and we are delighted to be extending our partnership with SARU as a Series host. We have enjoyed 13 successful years at Port Elizabeth and George and the move to Cape Town reflects the ever-increasing interest and success of sevens in South Africa.

“Cape Town is one of the world’s iconic cities – a major tourism and sporting destination that has proven to be an exceptional and warm host. Its inclusion within a stellar World Rugby Sevens Series schedule is exciting for fans around the world.

“I am confident that the South Africa Sevens in Cape Town will inspire new audiences and participants and contribute to the continued strong growth of rugby in South Africa and around the world.”

Cape Town’s inclusion follows a highly competitive tender process featuring 25 global locations with the successful South African Rugby Union and Cape Town bid focusing on furthering South Africa’s commitment to sevens, which will make its Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016.

SARU CEO Jurie Roux said: “Cape Town is sports-mad and their crowds frequently top the attendance charts in SA and it is a rugby city. The Fan Walk to the stadium and the proximity of entertainment areas such as the V&A Waterfront are an added bonus and will capture and amplify the unique vibe of sevens rugby.”

With qualification well underway for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, South Africa lead the current HSBC Sevens World Series standings after five rounds. At the last round in Las Vegas, won by Fiji, there was a new location-record 75,000 fans over the course of the tournament.


16) Crazy win not enough for England

Monday, March 23, 2015

England won 55-35 against France at Twickenham in a crazy game but it wasn’t enough to claim the Six Nations title, which is retained by Ireland.

Ben Youngs scored the first try of the game in the opening minute, and from then it was back and forth all game, with England taking advantage of their greater fitness to run in seven tries.

France played their part, scoring five tries of their own, but missed 12 points with the boot and failed to take advantage of a period of first-half dominance before running out of steam.

Youngs and Jack Nowell scored two tries apiece to leave England needing a converted try in the final seconds but after the ball was turned over, Rory Kockott kicked it out to put paid to England’s hopes.

Anthony Watson, George Ford and Billy Vunipola scored the other English tries, with Sébastien Tillous-Borde, Noa Nakaitaci, Maxime Mermoz and Vincent Debaty crossing for les Bleus.

England grabbed the first try after just two minutes, taking advantage of a mix-up in midfield by the French. Jonathan Joseph pounced on a loose ball before finding Mike Brown outside him.

With the French scrambling, Brown fed Ford, and while he couldn’t get over he had Youngs on his shoulder for the score. Ford converted and England were 7-0 up in no time.

And having made a calamitous start, France finally got a foothold in the match after ten minutes when Thierry Dusautoir got in at a breakdown to earn a penalty, with Jules Plisson slotting the three points.

From that moment France took control, taking advantage of an English mistake to score their first try. Youngs was scragged in a ruck and the loose ball was scooped up by Tillous-Borde who sprinted 60 metres to score. Plisson missed the conversion, but France were leading 8-7.

France almost blew another try when Nakaitaci sprinted over, but he tried to go under the posts and was tackled by Youngs. He was on the verge of going dead in-goal, getting the ball a fraction of a second before his foot went touched the dead-ball area, much to his relief. Plisson’s conversion made it 15-7.

Les Bleus had also turned things around in the scrum, but Plisson missed an easy shot at goal when Joe Marler was penalised in the English 22.

The game was being played at a ferocious pace, but it came to a shuddering stop when Courtney Lawes put in a huge hit on Plisson. While the ball had gone, the tackle was deemed legal with Lawes having launched into the tackle before the pass was made.

And on the half-hour England took the lead again, with Watson taking advantage of a great run by Youngs. The scrum-half had fed Ford, and while he was tackled, Nakaitaci ripped the ball away but it bounced kindly for England and James Haskell put Watson over in the corner. Ford converted to make it 17-15.

17) Storm thrashes Sharks

Monday, March 23, 2015

Storm thrashes


MELBOURNE – Melbourne forward Tohu Harris has doubled his NRL career try-scoring tally as he led the Storm to a 36-18 over the hapless Cronulla at AAMI Park on Saturday.

Harris had previously scored just two tries in two seasons but scored two more in the first half as the home side ran in six in an impressive performance across the park.

The defeat means Cronulla remains winless after three rounds while the Storm are back in the black following last round’s loss to Manly.

There were some questions about who would fill the role of second-row following the departure of Ryan Hoffman to the Warriors, with NZ Test forward Harris now the obvious answer.

The 23-year-old was second in his team in both tackles with 26 and run metres in a peerless display.

The Sharks started well but their defence proved flimsy as the game went on, with the Storm halves Cooper Cronk and Blake Green finding plenty of holes.

Harris opening the scoring when he barrelled over in the ninth minute with the Storm taking advantage of a failed 40/20 attempt by Wade Graham.

Cronk added their second 10 minutes later before Harris was in again for an 18-0 lead.

Harris’ second came just after Storm skipper Cameron Smith was back-slammed by David Fifita.

Play was set to continue before the video referees intervened and referee Gavin Badger placed the Sharks forward on report.

Sharks halfback Jeff Robson added a late try to close the deficit to 12 points at halftime.

The visitors then had to wait until the 63rd minute for their second, with young winger Valentine Holmes diving over in the corner.

By that stage the Storm had already scored a further three, with winger Marika Koroibete, Smith and centre Will Chambers all crossing to put the match out of reach.

Andrew Fifita gave the scoreline some respectability with a third Sharks try but there was little else to cheer about.

In Canberra a second half sin-binning of ex-Canberra bad boy Josh Dugan wasn’t enough to stop St George Illawarra pulling off a late 22-20 NRL win over the Raiders on Saturday at GIO Stadium.

The Raiders were always wary of an ex-player costing them a win, but they never suspected it would end up being Joel Thompson who scored the match-winner.

Dugan’s decision to knock the ball out of Jarrod Croker’s hands as the Raiders’ captain was running back from the dead ball for a quick 20m restart proved to be a crucial turning point in a game that fulfilled the “two halves” cliche to perfection.

Having already reduced the deficit to eight points after being 18-0 down early, the Dragons were flying home with a wet sail.

But Dugan’s sin-binning in his 100th NRL match gave the Raiders a much-needed reprieve, and most of the 11,774 crowd were all too happy to jeer him off the field.

That showed just how much Raiders fans still feel betrayed by Dugan, who was sacked from the club in 2013 after a string of off-field offences.


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