Father's death turns win to tragedy for Guildford


A third consecutive world title triumph turned to tragedy for Hawke's Bay rugby winger Zac Guildford last night.
Guildford's father Rob, who with wife Deb was among the spectators at the Under-20 World Cup final in Tokyo, died of a heart attack shortly after New Zealand's 44-28 win against England.
``It's been a hard night ... my Magpies season will be dedicated to Dad,'' Guildford told Hawke's Bay Today this morning.
Mr Guildford was 44. A former Wairarapa Bush representative, he moved to Hawke's Bay 12 years ago with his wife and two children, 20-year-old Zac, and 18-year-old Victor, who plays premier club rugby for Napier Technical.
Mr Guildford had played for the Napier Technical senior third side until a knee injury forced him to hang up his boots last year.
He worked as a supervisor in the electrical industry.
His brother Daren and Napier Technical clubmates this morning described Mr Guildford as ``a real family man who was committed to his children's sporting pursuits''.
He travelled to most of Zac's Super 14 games with the Hurricanes, and Air New Zealand Cup fixtures with the Kelt Capital Magpies.
Mr Guildford's tangi will be held at Papawai Marae, Greytown later this week. He will be buried at the family's urupa at Pukehou, Wairarapa.
Zac Guildford scored two tries in last night's final. He was a member of last year's Under-20 World Cup-winning New Zealand side and the 2007 Under-19 World Cup-winning New Zealand side.
Hawke's Bay loose forward Trent Boswell-Wakefield started at No 8 in last night's final while lock Leighton Price and hooker Shae Tamati got the final eight and five minutes, respectively.
Former Te Aute College and Hawke's Bay age group halfback Frae Wilson started at halfback and led the side's haka before the game.
Aaron Cruden, New Zealand captain and Manawatu first five-eighth, and the son of Taradale coaching guru Stu Cruden, scored two tries in the final victory.
He also kicked one penalty and three conversions and was later named the International Rugby Board's junior player-of-the-year.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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