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Good.Bad.Ugly. and What the….?

With the local sporting scene being pretty quiet, it’s time to look back on the ‘Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the What the….’ of sport over the past week and a bit.

The Good

I’m unsure what category this first one really fits into, but it is good that NZ Rugby has finally made an appointment and ended an ugly process by naming Scott Robertson as the next All Blacks coach; but didn’t they make a dog’s breakfast of it?

Whether you think Razor getting the job is good or bad, I’ll leave that up to you, but if you have one red eye and one black eye, you’ll be dancing a merry breakdance.

Definitely good, though, is the Black Caps completing a clean sweep of Sri Lanka in the two-test series with an innings victory at the Basin Reserve.

Their only turn at bat was anchored by the peerless Kane Williamson, now number two ranked batter in the world, with 215 [his sixth test double century]. He was joined in a third-wicket partnership of 363 by Henry Nicholls, who saved his test career with a timely 200no.

The NZ Warriors – could this finally be their year? Let’s not count the chickens too early, but the boys from Penrose were very good in riding roughshod over the Cowboys 26-12 in Townsville.

My beloved Hurricanes also showed enough that they could be serious championship contenders with a 34-17 win over the Waratahs, and how good is their new winger Kini Naholo with two
tries on debut? Very good!

Locally, Giants Blue were too good for Demons winning their Intercity premier two softball final 7-0.

Then there’s the generosity of people who turned out for a quiz night on Wednesday night to raise funds to help local lad Josh Taylor get to Berlin for the Special Olympic World Games in June.

But the week belonged to veteran Opaki trainer Jim Wallace, his family, and the 70-plus syndicate members, who almost brought the Trentham members’ stand down when their pride and joy Pennyweka flew to victory in the NZ Oaks.

The Bad

The red card that ended England fullback Freddie Steward’s involvement in the Six Nations finale against Ireland in Dublin ended any chance of an English victory. The challenge itself had mitigating factors and appeared to be an accidental collision with the fullback’s shoulder/upper arm contacting the head of the ball carrier so the actual decision to send Steward from the field was bad.

The disciplinary panel agreed and deemed it should have been only a yellow card.

The on-field decision again highlighted the foolhardiness of World Rugby’s laws around red cards and the need for the referees on the day to get their calls spot-on.

Isn’t the Super Rugby 20-minute stand-down a much better option?

Imagine a World Cup final being decided on such a woeful call. Hang on, didn’t that happen in the 2019 Cricket World Cup final when six runs were awarded instead of five when the ball deflected off Ben Stokes’s bat and over the boundary? Yea, I still haven’t gotten over it!

What went wrong with the Wellington Phoenix in their 5-1 loss to Adelaide, which was bordering on ugly?

The Bowls Wairarapa representative men’s sixth out of seven and the women’s sixth and last placing in their sections at the National Intercentre Championships in Christchurch finish the list.

The Ugly

New Zealand’s 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medal athlete Zane Robertson, who was banned for eight years for testing positive for EPO and tampering. If the positive test wasn’t ugly enough, Robertson made it uglier by trying to cover it up with false testimony and falsified documents.

He then apologised and tried to justify his decision to cheat with some feeble self-effacing reasoning on the ‘Runners Only’ podcast.

To top it off, though, twin brother Jake claimed he has been abused and lost a potential sponsor because of Zane’s selfishness.

Goodbye Zane, we don’t need the likes of you in sport!

The What The….?

New Zealand speed skier Tawny Wagstaff set a new national record of 233.94kmh at the world championships in southern France in qualifying. He then bettered that with an earth-shattering 248.61kmh, good enough for sixth place.

That is still almost 7kmh off the world record of 255.50kmh.

With nothing more than a specially designed aerodynamic suit and a helmet as protection, these guys and girls are nuts. Take a look at a video, and you too will say, “What the….”?

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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