Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Thrilling finishes, dodgy defence and tasty morsels


A dozen goals in three games without picking the ball out of their own net sees Douglas Villa top the list for their efforts in Capital Football Division One. A sterner examination away to the also unbeaten Western Suburbs on Sunday awaits.

Eketāhuna, picking up their first win in premier club rugby in a year, in holding on for a 24–19 win over Pioneer, put a smile on the faces of those north of Mt Bruce. Next is a home game on Saturday against defending champions Carterton, who deserve their place in the “good” after their 35–19 demolition of Marist, a win featuring some outstanding counterattacking rugby.

And mentioning brilliant rugby, how can I leave out the Hurricanes after their 36–23 triumph over the Chiefs? I can’t; it’s that simple; the “yellow and blacks” are storming through all opposition. A trip to hot, humid Suva to play the equally entertaining Drua tomorrow night holds plenty of intrigue, as the Fijians can never be underestimated on their home turf and after winning last year’s clash in Lautoka.

The Phoenix, the Warriors, and the Super Rugby Aupiki final dished up drama in spoonfuls and deserve their mention.

The Phoenix left it late to put the ball in the old onion bag courtesy of the head of Finn Surman, while the Warriors needed a big slice of luck to sneak a 22–22 draw with the Sea Eagles, and the Blues women came from 13 points down with 20 to go to snatch the Aupiki title 24–18 from the grasp of the Chiefs.

The Central Pulse hit the court firing in their 58–51 win over the Northern Stars, while cycling star Ellesse Andrews was back on track, winning the Kieran in the World Cup in Canada, only two months after breaking her collarbone in a track accident.

But if you haven’t seen the runaway victory of the weekend, check out Pride of Jenni’s demolition of the field in the A$5 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick. The classy mare led by more than 30 lengths at one stage, eventually winning by 6.5 lengths.


Two losses in two games is not how defending Wellington Women’s Hockey champions Dalefield wanted to start their season. While the 5–0 scoreline flattered Harbour City, Dalefield’s defence of penalty corners is a big work-on after conceding four goals from the set piece; however, the return of the classy Amy Bunny, who missed the game through injury, will help.

If Everton being docked eight points wasn’t bad enough, their 6–0 drubbing at the feet of Chelsea leaves the “Toffees” precariously placed only two points above the drop zone. Staying with the EPL, Manchester United’s defence – or, more appropriately, lack of – has contributed to what is likely to be their worst-ever finish in the league, although I’m sure many of you will revel in my anguish.

I’m unsure where this next bit fits, but the hoo-ha over Nike’s US Olympic uniform, especially one of the woman’s skimpy outfits, which covers very little, has caused widespread condemnation, but defending pole vault champion Katie Moon leapt into the debate pointing out that there are 20 uniform combinations to choose from. So why all the fuss?


The Crusaders Super Rugby season is quickly becoming ugly, and the manner in which the seven-time defending champions snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, 43–40 in extra time after leading with time almost up, was most uncrusaderlike, although their current demise will put a smile on many a face.

But a word of warning: Never ever write off the red and blacks until the fat lady is singing in full voice.

To multiply any passionate Mainlander’s woes, the Highlanders doubled the agony with an ugly 47–31 humbling by the Rebels, leaving the two southern sides in 10th and 11th in the standings.

He Jie’s win in the Beijing Half Marathon smacks of something more sinister after three African runners appeared to wave the Chinese runner past over the final stages, prompting an investigation by all sorts of bodies.


If the golf in the US Masters didn’t captivate you, the tasty morsels on the menu might, with prices as low as $1.50 for their famous Pimento Cheese or Egg Salad sandwiches, $2 for a coffee, and $6 for a beer. But what I like about the tournament is that cell phones are banned from the course, taking patrons back to a time when we actually spoke to people.

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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