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Canes, Red Cards, and Swear Jars

Miraculous finishes, a bad weekend for local teams, dumb red cards, and growing excitement in Paris add up to another week of the Good, Bad, and Ugly of sport, so without further ado …

GOOD

Any win for the Hurricanes over the Crusaders is a good one. After more than two decades of suffering at the sharp tongues of one-eyed red and black supporters, it’s good to get one back and even more satisfying that we’re 4 and 0, and they are 0 and 4. Still too early to say the Canes are blowing towards a second Super Rugby title or put the eight count on the lads from Christchurch, who have a knack for rising from the depths of doom and hitting the sucker punch at the right time.

The Wellington Phoenix again rose from the ashes of defeat to tip over Sydney 2–1 and fly to the summit of the A-League with five games to play. Who takes the top spot for the playoffs could be decided when the Phoenix play Central Coast Mariners in a couple of weeks.

The FA Cup delivered drama in bucketfuls, starting with Championship side Coventry City scoring two goals in added time to take the howl out of Wolves 3–2, but the icing on the cake was the mighty Red Devils sending their bitter foes Liverpool on a long “walk alone” with two goals in extra time and a 4–3 triumph, not that I’m gloating! Dumb, though, was Amad Diallo’s celebration after scoring the winning goal, taking off his shirt, receiving a second yellow card and being sent off!

Why would I slip in a match-winning Melbourne Storm try over the Warriors in the “Good”? Xavier Coates’s miraculous airborne effort to steal a 30–26 win was out of this world and deserving of its place, much to the chagrin of this Warriors fan.

Yay! About time! World Rugby’s plans for “reimagining rugby’s entertainment factor” include the “shot clock” extended to scrums and lineouts, a 20-minute red card replacement rule, fewer substitutes, and other innovations, all aimed at speeding up the game. But don’t hold your breath; this is, of course, World Rugby! Let’s squash in a bit of Paul Coll as a good finale. The Kiwi bounced back from losing the first two games, 12–10 11–9 and 7–4 down in the third, to win the last three games 12–10 12–10 11–9 and beat world number one Ali Farag and claim the Opstasia Squash Open in London.

BAD

The semifinal woes hit Red Star Cricket and Giants. A severely weakened Stars couldn’t break their Kāpiti Old Boys and semifinal hoodoos, dipping out of the Coastal Challenge, while Giants Red ended a frustrating second half of the season with a 5–1 loss to Dodgers White in only their third Hutt Valley Championship game in two months.

The Wairarapa men’s and women’s teams were sixth and fifth, respectively, in their sections at Bowls NZ Intercentre Championships – enough said!

The barrage of f-words by Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell after his team’s 28–18 loss to the Broncos was a bad look but enough for his club to introduce a swear jar, and that could be a good thing.

UGLY

When will these players learn? Owen Franks’s charge into the head of Canes lock Justin Sangster in a ruck in the dying seconds of the Canes-Crusaders was dumb and ugly and resulted in two weeks on the sideline, but was it any less dangerous than Jordie Barrett’s red card, which copped three weeks?

The idiot[s] who slashed off a third of the Queen Elizabeth Park Oval cricket cover overnight on Saturday. What is it with these boofheads? I suppose someone will have a nice cover for their firewood or plot; I just hope it leaks!

EXCITING

The Paris Olympics are building for a climax in more ways than one, with organisers providing 300,000 condoms for the athletes’ extracurricular activities. That’s inflation from the 150,000 slipped into the Tokyo games, but that doesn’t measure up to 2016 in Rio, where 450,000 [42 per athlete], including 100,000 female condoms, were rolled out, while 175,000 packets of lubricant smoothed the way for willing participants.

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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