Let’s sprint into this week’s Good Bag and Ugly of Sport with a mix of golf and running and a big shout-out to Amy Linton and her team at the Carterton Golf Club for an outstanding inaugural Carterton Speedgolf Open. Fittingly, the Smith family of Amy, brother Robin and father Chris took honours in the women’s, men’s and eight-hole competitions.
The Blues were the only Giants team to see action on the softball diamond, and they didn’t disappoint, coming away with a 4–1 win over Cardinals.
Just how good is Rachin Ravindra? 240 in scoring his maiden test century and double ton says it all, but in saying that, it was effectively against a South Africa C attack, and the Aussies in a few weeks will be a better gauge of where he’s at.
And how about the cool as a cucumber Kane Williamson, who brought up 100 number 30 in another master class?
World Rugby is working with law enforcement agencies to bring charges against the idiot online trolls, including 21 from New Zealand, who allegedly posted threatening abuse aimed at officials during and after the 2023 World Cup. Throw the book at them – sport doesn’t need dickheads like that.
The NZ Breakers kept their slim playoff hopes alive with an 89–78 win over the Wildcats in Perth, arguably the hardest place to win in the ANBL.
Despite the win, the Breakers cannot take a break with star import Anthony Lamb limping off court and out of the season with an Achilles tendon tear.
The injury bug continues to Wellington Phoenix star striker Oskar Zawada. A groin injury has sidelined the goal-scoring Pole, who only recently returned from a lengthy stint off the field.
Staying with injuries, world champion track cyclist Ellesse Andrews suffered a broken collarbone on the velodrome in Adelaide, fracturing her build-up for the Paris Olympics. Ouch!
The New Zealand Davis Cup team slipped down to World Group II of the Davis Cup after a disappointing 3-1 loss to Turkey.
Defaults and Giants seem to go hand in hand, with the Masterton softballers on the rough end of the stick. If the Giants women finally get on the diamond this Saturday, it will be their first game in 11 weeks, with a couple of defaults, rained-out games and a bye. The premier three Reds have fared little better, and their five-team Hutt Valley Championship is a joke, with no games scheduled last weekend when it could’ve been used for a catch-up round. Is that a fair return for the big affiliation fees Giants pay? I doubt it very much!
Sad rather than bad, the passing of Wales rugby great Barry John at the age of 79. The mana of the man was no more evident on the 1971 Lions tour of New Zealand, in which he played a leading role in the 2–1 series victory. He was so good that Kiwi fans nicknamed him “the King”. That said it all!
It’s a bit of a stretch to find something to fit in this week, but I suppose if you’re a Liverpool fan, a howler between the goalkeeper and a defender that led to the second goal and a nutmeg on the keeper for the third in the 3–1 loss to Arsenal fit the bill.
And just to rub it in to their few long-suffering local fans, heavy losses for Sheffield United [5–0], Crystal Palace [4–1], and West Ham [3–0] just sneak in as ugly.