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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Good, bad, and some UGLY!

More gold medals, a bounce-back win, a gutsy title defence, a spectacular crash, a record defeat, and a hunger strike are highlights and lowlights of the past week in sport. So it’s time to draw revolvers on this week’s ‘Good, Bad and Ugly’.

GOOD
Hats off to our five cricketers to be awarded major association contracts. Melissa Hansen, Emma McLeod, Georgia Atkinson, and Ocean Bartlett will don the green and gold of the Central Hinds, and Gemma Sims will pad up for the Wellington Blaze.

There is also the selection of the multi-talented Vanessa Taylor for the Capital Football Youth Development squad. Adept at hockey and football, the St Matthew’s student has a bright future.

Copthorne Wairarapa-Bush bounced back from their 50–3 shellacking at the hands of North Otago to power home for a 30–24 win over Poverty Bay and move to fifth equal in the Heartland standings.

Dame Lisa – three gold medals taking her total haul to 15 at world championships – what more can one say about arguably world canoeing’s greatest-ever paddler?

Scot ‘the Iceman’ Dixon kept alive his chances of a seventh IndyCar Championship, cruising to a 22-second win on the St Louis oval and his 55th career victory, while Liam Lawson’s 13th in his debut Formula One start may not look all that flash, but his performance in an uncompetitive car impressed many pundits, who opined there is a good future ahead.

It wasn’t pretty, but the Warriors did what they had to in beating the Dragons 18–6 to lock in a top-four finish and two lives for the NRL final series.

Fiji 30, England 22 – the Bula Boys scored a memorable win at Twickenham, and Samoa just went down 13-17 to world number one Ireland. Could this be the year of the Pasifika at the World Cup? Let’s hope they and the Tongans can set the tournament alight!

Talk about tough, Mea Motu dislocating her shoulder in the first round of her 10-round world super bantamweight fight with Malawi’s Ellen Simwaka and going on to retain her belt.

BAD
What has happened to Lydia Ko? Not only has she slipped to sixth in the world rankings, but a shambolic 10-over par at the latest LPGA event in Vancouver was her worst-ever round on the tour.

Please tell me that the pedantic refereeing, and microscopic intervention of the TMO, which saw the first half of the All-Blacks – Springboks game take an hour to complete, is not the blueprint for the World Cup. If it is, we could be in for the baddest – verging on the ugliest – watch yet.

Nascar driver Ryan Preece’s Ford barrel rolling at least 10 times at Daytona after clipping another car at 300kmh. Amazingly Preece was able to climb out of his mangled car, and he escaped any significant injury.

Staying on the injury front, Tohu Harris’s injured back, which has the Warriors captain in doubt for the NRL playoffs, and Tyrel Lomax’s gashed knee that needed 30 stitches and will see him miss some of the early All Black World Cup matches.

UGLY
Poor discipline, poor execution, and poor attitude equal an ugly outcome.

In my 58 years of watching All Blacks’ rugby, I’m struggling to recall a more inept effort in a test as the 35–7 trouncing at the hands of our fiercest foes.

The 2019 semifinal loss to England, the 1999 semifinal defeat to France and a 28–7 loss to Australia, and losses to England in 1983 and 1993 come close, but I’m battling to remember anything akin to the pummelling the rampant Boks subjected us to at Twickenham.

Am I worried? No! Nor are the bookies; Ladbrokes still have the men in black joint 3/1 favourites with France to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

The World Cup is a completely different beast, and the Twickenham result means diddlysquat, but why give the already confident Saffas an adrenaline boost two weeks out from the World Cup kickoff?

Credit to South Africa, they were very good, but we were awful. Boys, you should’ve stayed on the bus, but going on that effort, I think most of you did.

The saga surrounding Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales and the unwanted kiss on Jenni Hermoso’s lips during the World Cup presentation gets uglier and weirder by the day. Not only does Rubiales refuse to resign, but now his mother has gone on a hunger strike because of the “inhumane hounding” of her son. Bizarrely, she has locked herself in a church where no doubt she can survive on communion wafers and wine and confess the sins of her son.

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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