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Monday, July 22, 2024
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Good golf, smashing sixes, VAR

A sensational 10 minutes, smashing sixes, and a semifinal spot sealed add up to a pretty good week in sport, so let’s load up the revolver for another round of Good, Bad and Ugly.

GOOD

The phone beeped at 8.56pm Sunday, “Did you see Kerry Mountcastle just won in Oz?” followed at 9.07pm “Ben Campbell just won the Hong Kong Open.” In an incredible 10 minutes or so for the Masterton Golf Club, Mountcastle won the Gippsland Super 6, securing his place in the big events on the Aussie Tour, and Campbell sunk a 15ft birdie putt to beat good mate Cam Smith on the final hole to win his first Asian Tour event.

Has there been a better few minutes in Wairarapa sport? Maybe in individual events, but not two participants closely connected and 7500kms apart.

The Black Caps sealed their semifinal spot against India at the Cricket World Cup with an easy win over Sri Lanka. The Kiwis will hold no fear of the hosts, who have all the pressure on them and have stumbled against the Kiwis in crunch games. Remember the 2019 semifinal and the 2021 Test World Cup final?

I’m not the biggest fan of the ego that is Aussie Glenn Maxwell, but one has to admire the self-proclaimed ‘Big Show’ and his sensational 201 off 128 balls [21 sixes and 10 fours], all while he was badly cramping, to singlehandedly beat Afghanistan after his team were steering down the barrel at 91–7.

The Wellington Phoenix women carried on their winning way, beating Western United, with the highlight being a stunning freekick from Macey Fraser, to sit third in the A-League. The men drew 1–1 with bogey team Melbourne Victory to stay in a share of the lead.

Staying with football, does it get any better than the drama dished up by Chelsea and Manchester City in the EPL? The 4–4 draw featured stunning attacking play and the drama of a late Chelsea penalty slotted home by ex-Man City boy Cole Palmer to earn a point.

The Wairarapa Maori Sports Awards! Hats off to the organisers of an outstanding celebration of the achievements of our top Maori sportspeople on Thursday night. Top honours went to double Special Olympic World Games medallist Josh Taylor.

Let’s exit the ‘Good’ with a bit of the bizarre from a Gold Coast third-grade cricket game. Surfers Paradise needed five runs off the final over with six wickets in hand to win, but that was before Mudgeeraba captain Gareth Morgan stepped up and took six wickets from the six balls and stole an unlikely victory.

BAD

The joys of having shares in racehorses. The faithful owners canter down to Tauherenikau full of hope only to witness their race favourite run down the track [she might still be running], and the other gets swamped in the final 50 metres. Not a single dividend from a locally trained horse adds up to a bad [but close to ugly] day at the races.

The New Zealand Breakers slide down the slippery slope continues with a verging on ugly 94–76 loss to the Perth Wildcats to sit nine out of 10 with only two wins and six losses. Yuk!

UGLY

Technology in sports, or in particular, football’s VAR [Video Assistant Referee]. The more I witness its utilisation, the more I think it should read ‘Very Awful Refereeing’.

What was introduced as a means of getting rid of the howlers by using quick replays to determine obvious errors has turned into a microscopic investigation of every minute detail, and in some cases, taking up to six minutes before a decision is made.

Fifa and World Rugby don’t need to compare notes on ways to completely ruin their games as spectacles with the overuse of technology; they’re doing a good job of making their games ugly. Can we please jump in the Delorean, get it up to 88mph and go back to a time when human error by those in the middle was an accepted part of sport?

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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