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Wednesday, March 6, 2024
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Winners, grinners and sore losers

How about a bit of local motorsport to race into this week’s edition of Good, Bad and Ugly, and I’ll chuck in a few threats, football tantrums and poor batting?

GOOD

Where would motorsport be without the likes of the hardworking crews at the Masterton Motorplex drags and the Tauherenikau Jetsprints? Hats off to all those who bring those national championship events here year after year. Also, big ups to Eva Wintle and stepdad ‘Spike’ Taylor for saluting the chequered flag in the first round of the Suzuki International Series at Taupō – for more see ‘Wintle Wins in the Wet’ on p31. 

After winning the last two matches, Martinborough aced the first part of Wairarapa Tennis interclub, lifting the Shirley Corlett Trophy, while the Masterton Tennis Centre served up the 60th edition of their popular seniors tournament, attracting nearly 120 players aged from 35 to their 80s.  

Staying with racquets and balls, squash gun Paul Coll outlasted world number one, Egypt’s Ali Farag, to become the first Kiwi male to win the Hong Kong Open. 

The Wellington Phoenix sit alone at the top of the A-League after six rounds. But there are another 21 rounds to go before we can say the yellow and blacks have finally risen from the ashes.  

The re-signing of Beauden Barrett to NZ Rugby until 2027 and Tohu Harris to the Warriors until 2025 wrap up this week’s good bits.

BAD

The joke of the Intercity Softball Premier Two draw again tops the list.

For some unfathomable reason, Giants Blue are playing Poneke-Kilbirnie for the third time in four weeks for a place in the premier two final. Unbelievably, Wainuiomata, who failed to win a game in the round-robin, are now playing a semifinal for a spot in the final, whereas Kapiti, who finished second, lost one game and are out of it. In my 32 years covering sports, this playoff format involving all six teams in the competition is, without a doubt, the most laughable system I have seen.  

Poor batting – the Black Caps capitulated on days four and five to hand Bangladesh only their second test victory over the Kiwis, with the chance of a historic first series loss on the cards in the second test in Dhaka starting yesterday. 

The White Ferns lost a T20 series to Pakistan for the first time, so what is it about our top cricketers against good spin bowling?

The future of the Commonwealth Games has to be in doubt after news that Australia is unlikely to host the 2026 edition. I may be a sad old fart traditionalist, but the Com Games have always captured my fascination, mostly from when Steve Allen had us ‘Join Together’ in 1974 in Christchurch. However, the future looks far from rosy, and it will be a sad day if we’ve seen the last. 

UGLY

Death threats directed at Rugby World Cup final TMO Tom Foley, forcing his retirement. Okay, we know he got it wrong at times, but he didn’t cost us the game. 

Manchester City players, in particular, Erling Haaland’s foul-mouthed rant after referee Simon Hooper erred in blowing for a foul after initially signalling advantage with a player in the clear. How the Norwegian avoided a red card beats me, but on a good note, the club have been charged over their players’ reaction.   

Like players and coaches, both Foley and Hooper made errors, but so what? That’s sport! Get over it!

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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