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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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A dose of good, bad and ugly

GOOD

Let’s kick off in Melbourne, and the Wellington Phoenix did what they had to do against the Victory, flying back home with a scoreless draw from a semifinal that could’ve easily slotted into the ‘Ugly’ zone.

Caroline Powell jumped her way to victory at the Badminton Horse Trials, becoming just the second Kiwi woman and fifth New Zealander to top the podium at the equestrian equivalent of Wimbledon. The win capped a remarkable comeback after the 51-year-old and her mount Greenacres Special Cavalier went into the final showjumping round in sixth place. Powell’s win came 14 years after winning the Burghley Horse Trials, putting her in the rare company of winning two of the three events in the Grand Slam of Eventing, the other being Kentucky.

The Super Rugby humdinger between the Blues and Hurricanes lived up to the hype in front of 26000 baying fans at Eden Park, and although the result didn’t go our way, with the Blues holding on 31–27 in what could be a dress rehearsal for the final [but let’s not get ahead of ourselves] it’s better to lose now than later.

The Highlanders broke their 19-match losing streak against Kiwi teams at the expense of the Crusaders. Oh dear, how sad!

This might not be good for one of my favourite sportspeople of all time, Dame Lisa, but Aimee Fisher’s upset win over Carrington in a Canoeing World Cup in Hungary has to be good for the sport in New Zealand and our prospects at the Paris Olympics. I’m unsure if they will combine for the pairs, but what a prospect if they do.

BAD

East Coast’s default of this week’s final premier game against Carterton is not good but is understandable given the lengthy wounded list at Whareama. I get it, and I’m surprised there haven’t been more, with nothing riding on the final round of games. Regardless, call me an old-fashioned stickler, but I still hate defaults.

A substitute vaping during a club rugby game might not sound like a big deal, but this was a premier club game, and I question what pride that player has for the jersey and the club he represents. Or does it simply add strength to my argument that premier club rugby is sliding into the realms of serious social sport?

Sad rather than bad, but there is always a void when a champion retires, and England fast bowler James Anderson, one of only three players to snare 700 test wickets, will leave a big hole, not only for his country but for international cricket when he pulls stumps on his career after the Lord’s test against the West Indies in July.

UGLY

Dalefield’s ugly 1–1 draw against a Victoria team they should’ve put more than a few goals past fits the bill, but the wobbly Warriors take the cake with what must be close to their worst first 15 minutes in their 29-year history, conceding four tries and 22 points in their embarrassing loss to the crowing Roosters.

On the subject of the NRL, though, what is happening with the referees, at times, not penalising players for potential offences but still charging the offender, the best example being the chicken wing tackle that forced Shaun Johnson from the field with a pec injury?

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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