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Fallon out to exorcise ghost of Honiara

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/05/2016 Robert Lowe
Rory Fallon in action for the All Whites © Getty Images Rory Fallon in action for the All Whites

Seasoned striker Rory Fallon is out to exorcise a ghost when he heads with the All Whites to Papua New Guinea for the Oceania Nations Cup.

Fallon played in the 2012 tournament in the Solomon Islands, where New Zealand fell to a shock 2-0 semi-final loss to New Caledonia, a result that cost them a place in the 2013 Confederations Cup.

"It's still lingering," he said of the defeat in Honiara.

"It was a difficult time, especially for me and all the boys that went through it and the staff. I can't wait to get back out there and put it right."

The All Whites begin their campaign on May 28 against Fiji and their other pool opponents in Port Moresby will be Vanuatu and the Solomons.

Fallon's place in New Zealand football folklore is assured with his headed goal against Bahrain in Wellington in November 2009 that sent the All Whites to the 2010 World Cup.

He went on to appear in all three of New Zealand's pool fixtures at the World Cup in South Africa.

In all, the England-based 34-year-old has 18 caps and four international goals.

But his career was stalled by a serious knee injury in October 2014.

After scoring for Scunthorpe United in a 1-1 draw with Colchester United, he went off at halftime with ligament damage and went through a lengthy recovery period.

"I'm just buzzing, absolutely buzzing," he said of his return to the All Whites.

"With the cruciate, I didn't think I would ever kick a ball again. It took me 15 months to get back into it."

He said he never gave up hope of returning to the All Whites and getting another crack at making a World Cup.

"With the amount of work and everything I've been through, I need to kick on one more time."

It was Bristol Rovers who gave Fallon the chance to get his career back on track by signing him in January and he made three appearances for them.

But having just won promotion to English football's third-tier League One, the club have announced they will be releasing Fallon.

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