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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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This week’s GBU of sport

GOOD

Tumu Douglas Villa tops the list, kicking off their first season in Capital Football Division One with a 3-0 win over North Wellington Reserves. A good start, and there are bigger fish to fry, but what a confidence booster!

The outstanding South African cricket umpire Marais Erasmus has opened up about his two howlers in the 2019 Cricket World Cup final. The first was a high LBW to send Wairarapa’s favourite son Ross Taylor back to the pavilion, although in fairness, the Kiwis were their own worst enemy after Martin Guptill had burned their review with a ridiculous referral for a plumb LBW.

The second came in the final over, and was the most contentious, when Erasmus, fellow onfield umpire Kumar Dharmasena and third umpire Rod Tucker awarded six runs when a throw ricocheted off Ben Stokes’s bat and the ball crossed the boundary, when only five runs should have been awarded. Good on ya, Marais, for owning up to the blunder, but it still doesn’t ease the pain. NO! I have still not got over it and probably never will!

The NZ Warriors haven’t clicked for a full 80 minutes yet, but the 20–12 win over the Newcastle Knights was a step up, and to the fore was Roger Tuivasa-Sheck at fullback. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad returns in the No. 1 jersey for the Rabbitohs clash on Saturday, forcing RTS back to the centres, and while on the subject of centres, isn’t Greytown’s Rocco Berry making every post a winner?

The Hurricanes rampaged to a surprisingly one-sided 47-12 annihilation of the Highlanders under the roof in Dunedin, but it came at a cost – more about that in a few paragraphs.

Staying with rugby, what about the outstanding open rugby displayed by the Fijian Drua in beating the Western Force 31-13 in a tropical downpour in Lautoka?

And wrapping up the 15-a-side code, All Black great Sam Whitelock announced his retirement.

Thoroughly deserved, and there’s no doubting after 153 tests, the big lock will figure in many bar leaner discussions for inclusion in the best-ever All Blacks team. World squash number two Paul Coll rallied his way to victory over Mostafa Asal in the London Classic, for his 24th PSA Tour win.

The Wellington Phoenix women missed out on the A-League playoffs, but their 2-0 win over West Sydney Wanderers gave them eighth place, representing their best finish in their three years in the comp.

The Phoenix men continued their reign at the top of the A-League, holding on with 10 men for a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar, and setting up a bumper away trip to Gosford on Saturday to take on defending champs and current runners-up Central Coast Mariners in a fixture that could decide the minor premiership winners.

BAD

The Phoenix will have to do it, though, without their in-form leader Alex Rufer after he was sent for an early shower for “stepping” on the back of the leg of a Roar player on the ground, when trying to clear the ball.

Yes! The red card was soft, and possibly not merited, but Rufer was clumsy more than anything, and nothing escapes the eagle eyes of the pesky VAR. Players just down’t seem to learn – get the dumb stuff out of your game.

The Hurricanes and Warriors both lost two of their most influential players to long-term injuries. Canes halfback Cam Roigard to a ruptured left patella tendon, and Warriors stand-off Luke Metcalf to a broken leg. Fortunately for both clubs, there are quality back-ups to step up to the plate,. and that’s what professional squads are all about – depth!

UGLY

The White Ferns dip their feet in the ‘Ugly Zone’, having been cruelly exposed by England in their T20 and ODI series.

If you need proof of the lack of depth in our international women’s cricket side look no further than Izzy Gaze’s effort of 51no in the fifth and final T20 match. With her maiden half-century, the wicketkeeper became the first White Ferns batter other than Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates or Melie Kerr to reach 50 since 2018.

The Kiwis have been in strong positions and had opportunities to wrap up games, but have only done so once, in the third T20. Their inability to close out games was no more evident than in the first ODI when they had England 79-6, but couldn’t land the fatal blows, with the visitors not losing another wicket.

Yes, England are a quality side, but we surely have better than what we’ve seen on the field in this series.

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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