Computer theft puts Kiwis in dark ages

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The Independent Online

New Zealand have been forced to revert to old technology for their World Cup semi-final against England at Bolton tomorrow. A thief who broke into the team's hotel in Brighouse has made off with the computer on which they record and store match statistics, writes Dave Hadfield. "It is where we enter all the match facts, so that we know exactly what every player has done," said the Kiwi coach, Frank Endacott.

New Zealand have been forced to revert to old technology for their World Cup semi-final against England at Bolton tomorrow. A thief who broke into the team's hotel in Brighouse has made off with the computer on which they record and store match statistics, writes Dave Hadfield. "It is where we enter all the match facts, so that we know exactly what every player has done," said the Kiwi coach, Frank Endacott.

"The police are optimistic we will get it back, because they think they know who has done it. If not, we will have to revert to the old clipboard and pen method."

The Kiwis trained yesterday at the Reebok Stadium - which has also been confirmed as the venue for St Helens' World Club Championship against Brisbane on 26 January - and Endacott hinted that Stacey Jones, rather than Robbie Paul, will be his starting scrum-half. England have revealed that Paul Sculthorpe will be in their 17 for Bolton after recovering from his hamstring strain, but neither coach will name his side until tomorrow.

Bradford have further strengthened their squad for next season with the capture of Shane Rigon from Sydney Roosters. Rigon, who has signed a two-year contract, is 23 and can play at either centre or back row. The Bradford coach, Brian Noble, said: "He is a young, very talented player, who hits the line hard and defends really well and I think that the Bradford fans will take to him quickly."

The Bulls have already signed another Australian forward, Daniel Gartner, and are expected to announce the recruitment of the Kiwi prop, Joe Vagana, next week.

Warrington are negotiating to sign the utility player, Steve Georgallis, from Wests Tigers in Australia, but only if he can qualify for a European passport. The 32-year-old, who has numbered Carlisle and Wakefield among his previous clubs, has Greek antecedents, which Warrington hope will secure him a work permit, despite their import quota being full. The club are also to hold talks with Kevin Campion, the Australian back-row forward who is under contract for next season, about suggestions that he wants to be released from that agreement.

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