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Thursday, April 18, 2024
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More GBU to whet the appetite

Home semifinals, absorbing cricket, the unbeaten Canes, a sad end, and a vicious tackle highlight today’s Good, Bad and Ugly of Sport.

GOOD

Starting with cricket, Burger King Red Star top the list with their convincing bonus point win over Paraparaumu to grab home advantage for the Coastal Challenge playoffs. Now, it’s just a small matter of exacting revenge on Kāpiti Old Boys to earn a home final.

The good news came for Giants Blue, promoted to the top of the Hutt Valley Premier Reserve-Premier Two Championship after Hutt City United were found to have played an ineligible player and the result of last month’s encounter was overturned.

How good is test cricket? If you wanted any evidence of the ebbs and flows and tension that test cricket engenders you need look no further than Hagley Oval. Okay, the Blacks Caps didn’t win but gave themselves plenty of chances, only for errors to creep in at the wrong time, with some sloppy catching and a poor bowling plan, and the Aussies weren’t going to miss a chance and took it.

The Hurricanes could not have wished for a better kick-off to Super Rugby, with a hat-trick of wins, including giving the star-studded Jafas a dose of “the blues” on Saturday night. But a word of caution: the misfiring winless Crusaders lay in wait in Christchurch for tomorrow night, and a hurting Crusader is a dangerous beast.

Don’t you just love an upset? And Italy provided the latest, sucking the wind out of the bagpipes and taking the porridge 31–29 over Scotland in a thriller in Rome for their first Six-Nations victory since 2021 and only second win in the championship in eight years. Next up for the Azzurri, the badly out-of-puff Welsh Dragon in Cardiff this weekend.

Joseph Parker was crowned WBO interim [what does that mean?] heavyweight champion with a unanimous points decision over Chinese giant Zhilei Zhang.

The Phoenix women ended their losing drought on the road, impressively beating Perth Glory 3–1 to revive their slim top-four hopes.

BAD

The demise of the Gladstone premier rugby side is a sad day for Wairarapa sport, not just rugby! After battling through much of 2023, prospects weren’t looking bright for this season, with low player numbers at training, leaving the six-time Wai-Bush champions little option but to pull the team from the prems.

Not the start the Warriors wanted being bitten by the Sharks 16–12 in their NRL opener, but the Warriors showed enough signs that again they should be top eight contenders. So faithful, don’t panic; it’s one hell of a long season.

The Phoenix couldn’t break their AAMI Park hoodoo, going down 1–0 to Melbourne City and ending their two-month reign at the top of the A-League.

UGLY

It doesn’t get much uglier than Aston Villa captain John McGinn’s brutal tackle on Spurs’ Destiny Udogie, which produced a straight red card. “It’s ugly, it’s cynical, it’s a horrible tackle,” was one commentator’s blunt assessment. Enough said!

Is eight weeks enough time on the sidelines for the Sydney Roosters prop Spencer Leniu for his racial slur aimed at Brisbane Broncos star Ezra Mam? According to some rugby league greats, no, but I will leave it for you to make up your own mind on this ugly exchange.

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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