Premier Versus New Zealand 2009

A Huuugh well done to Kiwi Captain Jimmy Henry & Team Kiwi made up of their current National 9 Ball Champion Chris Bowman, Tony Van Wijk, Matt Edwards, Mathew

L-R: Simon Gray, Trevor Gray, Dan Rucci, Captain Michael Sammut, Colin Fender, Manuel Sammut & Team Secretary Vanessa Doll.

Mc Innes, Greg Noyse & substitute Ross Evans, on their classy win AGAIN! After seven straight Challenge wins there is no disputing the amazing strength & talent of the Kiwi Players. Special thanks to Jimmy for his ongoing support of the Challenge & for always organising the New Zealand Team & host Venues, Jimmy you are a credit to Cue Sports in NZ! Also to the wonderful Staff & patrons from both the Onehunga Worker Mans Club & Snooker World, your facilities are second to none & hospitality the very best, thankyou for everything.
The closest result for the Aussies yet against the Mighty Kiwi’s in this years Premier V New Zealand Challenge Match.
After the Razzlers dominated the 2008 Elite Season on Australian turf they did Battle with the Kiwis in the Land of Milk & Honey in World Rules 8 Ball (two Shot) & 9 Ball on April 4th and did us proud.
The Kiwi’s gave us the traditional whopping in the 9 Ball beating us 72 – 36, still not bad for the Aussie players not accustomed to 9 Ball, but the Razzlers Dazzled in the 8 Ball drawing at 54 a piece & just getting pipped at the post in the play off. Good work Michael, Dan, Simon, Trev, Manuel & Col, the Premier & Miss Q’s fraternity are so proud…. Player of the Challenge was the man himself Jimmy Henry, Kiwi Captain & Organiser. Kiwi Best & Fairest went to Mathew Mc Innes & Aussie Best & Fairest went to Manuel Sammut.
We are getting closer and can’t wait to catch our wonderful Kiwi comrades again, we look forward to seeing the Kiwi’s on Aussie soil for a reciprocal Challenge hopefully in November this year or we will be back stronger than ever in NZ in 2010.
Cheers Kez.

What a fantastic trip by the Razzlers! I doubt that I will ever recapture the thrill of touring with such enjoyable company in Miss Q’s Kerry De Pradines (Tour Organiser), Captain Michael Sammut and girlfriend Vanessa Doll,

L-R: Ross Evans, Greg Noyse, Tony Van Wijk, Captain Jimmy Henry, Matt Edwards, Chris Bowen & Mathew McInnes.

Manuel Sammut, Dan Rucci, Colin Fender and my son Simon Gray. It was a wonderful blend of youth and maturity.
Our flight from Perth to New Zealand at 6:10pm on Thursday 2 April 2009 was uneventful except for Manual the Scarlet Pimpernel, who would disappear at the most inappropriate times giving son Michael heart palpitations. Manuel was usually found in the duty free shops or taking a smoko somewhere.
We arrived at Auckland airport around 6:00am Friday morning their time. Kerry had organised a rental van nearby. We then all piled into the van, located our accommodation at Royal Oaks, headed of for brunch at the local trotting club and returned around 11am for a kip to recover from jet lag.
Friday evening we headed for the Onehunga Working Men’s Club for a warm-up and a knock-out competition with some of the locals and New Zealand team members. Despite our best efforts none of us made the finals. Then it was back to our accommodation around 1am Sat. morning. As usually the fangs of the group namely Dan, Colin and Simon needed their take away fix and they went in search of food returning about hour later.
Saturday 10am was the big American 9 Ball challenge. We arrived for some early practice at a splendid pool parlour. It was quite lavish and had an atmosphere that filled you with excitement. Well the Kiwi’s strolled in the casual manner (late) and then proceeded to thrash us 72 to 36 in a six player play-off of 3 frames. Despite being beaten I am sure each of us took away a memorable moment and individually did something special. Mine was knocking in the 9 ball twice from cannons in one match. I couldn’t contain my excitement.
In the afternoon it was the World Rules 8 Ball challenge back at the Onehunga Working Men’s Club. We felt more confident of winning at World Rules as the Kiwi’s play a variation of this pool. We battled on into the evening until it came down to the last frame. We won which resulted in a 54 all draw. The tie breaker went to a 5 player play-off. Unfortunately we lost 3 to 2. Manuel was voted the fairest and best and Simon accumulated the highest game score in both forms of pool for the Razzlers. Kerry gave her emotional address describing that this was the best performance of any Australian side and how proud she was to be associated with Razzlers.
Next day Kerry and Dan flew back to Perth. Michael navigated us to Auckland central on his mobile GPS and Colin displayed exceptional driving skills to arrive at the Oaks. We went fishing in the Auckland Bay with slight winds and calm waters. Vanessa just pipped Simon for the biggest catch which I am sure will become legendary over time amongst the Razzlers and will feature in articles by other members. Manuel cooked some fish for dinner that night and the rest we gave away to Greg Noyse (Noisy) from the NZ team.
After doing some tourist things we returned home Wednesday 8 April except for Michael and Vanessa who remained in NZ to continue their holiday. It truly was a fantastic experience. Trevor Gray

2009 Premier V Kiwi Challenge Teams L-R: Kiwis - Back Row: President & Substitute Ross Evans, Tony Van Wijk, Chris Bowman, Mathew McInnes. Front Row: Greg Noyse, Captain Jimmy Henry & Matt Edwards. Aussies - Back Row: Colin Fender, Dan Rucci, Simon Gray, Trevor Gray. Front Row: Manuel Sammut, Captain Michael Sammut & Secrtary Vanessa Doll.

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