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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Time for Good, Bad and Ugly

A golfing trio, not-so-smart technology, and sloppy cricket highlight this week’s Good, Bad and Ugly of Sport, so let’s hook into it.

GOOD

How many regions of Wairarapa’s population would have three players tee off in the New Zealand Open?

Not many I would suggest, but that is what Wairarapa have, with Ben Campbell [although he is now based in Queenstown], Kerry Mountcastle and Harry Bateman shooting to win New Zealand Golf’s most prized trophy. Wouldn’t it be fitting if one of them was to lift the trophy on the 70th anniversary of Sir Bob Charles’ victory as an 18-year-old amateur from the Masterton club?

Wairarapa Cricket also had the rare feat of having three players – Jake Jonas, Samuel Payne and Taylor Bettelheim – all named in the Central Districts A side for two matches against an NZ Development side. Jonas produced the best effort with 90 in the one-day clash. Melissa Hansen reminded the CD selectors of her batting talent, scoring 69 and 38 in two matches for CD A against Wellington A.

After 35 years, the Breadcraft Wairarapa Kids Triathlon is still going strong. Nearly 500 kids registered, and close to 400 aged from three to 17 turned up on each of the three Monday nights to swim, bike and run around Wairarapa College, and that’s good enough to feature in this week’s “Good”.

Staying with a local theme, tennis star Marcus Daniel is breaking new ground by pledging to donate half his winnings in his final year on the pro tour through his High Impact Athletes initiative to support the world’s best charities.

Perth was a happy hunting ground for Wellington sports teams, with the Hurricanes blowing away the Force 44–14 in the opening round of Super Rugby, and the Phoenix fought out a scoreless draw with the Glory – a result that pleased coach “Chiefy” Italiano, given his side were severely weakened.

Para cyclist Nicole Murray’s nomination for a prestigious Laureus Award for winning two gold and silver medals at the para road cycling world champs and a gold, silver and bronze on the track is more than good enough to wheel into this category.

Eliza McCartney is flying in the lead-up to the World Indoor Champs in Glasgow, pole vaulting 4.84m in France, which at the time was the year’s best and is now just 1cm off it. Is this the start of a return to the heights set by the smiling bronze medallist at Rio in 2016? Let’s hope so, with Paris only a few leaps away.

BAD

It was good that Red Star got to play their Coastal Challenge one- day cricket match with Kāpiti Old Boys at Wellington’s Sky Stadium. but the day quickly turned bad with a woeful batting effort that saw them bundled out for 119 and tumbling to a seven-wicket humbling.

The teething problems with the not-so-smart mouthguards being used in Super Rugby left a sour taste with some players, notably Chief’s centre Anton Lienert-Brown and Crusaders lock Quentin Strange, who were sent to the sideline for an HIA, much to their and the crowd’s bemusement. Is this just another case of technology ruining a good game?

UGLY

The English Premier League season is rapidly becoming ugly for Sheffield United, who, along with Burnley, are rooted to the foot of the table and destined for a swift return to the Championship. But if that isn’t ugly enough, the sight of two players fighting on the pitch in the 1–0 loss to Wolves firmly planted the Blades here.

The Black Caps 3–0 T20 series whitewash to the Aussies is worthy of inclusion. Barring the thrilling last-ball defeat in Wellington, the Kiwis were poor with the bat, ineffective with the ball, and sloppy in the field, and three poors equals an ugly.

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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