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Winners, losers, arrests, and Fury

Cup winners, upsets, rugby pros flexing their muscles, and a foul-mouthed Fury all add up to the Good, Bad and Ugly of Sport, so to the background music of Ennio Morricone, let’s shoot into this week’s edition.

GOOD

Martinborough tops the list with their gutsy come-from-behind 31–17 win over a brave Eketāhuna, becoming the first club to drink out of the Lane Penn Cup for a second time. There have been plenty of comments about the perceived pointlessness of the opening seven games, with the points to be scrapped and a fresh start for the championship, but don’t tell the Marty boys that winning the first round didn’t mean anything; their determination and smiles said it all.

The Phoenix stumbled at the second hurdle, losing 2–1 to Melbourne Victory in their A-League semifinal, but the drama that played out in front of an electric capacity crowd at Sky Stadium was more than good enough to slip in here.

Injuries? What injuries? The NZ Warriors dug deep with a severely depleted XIII to declaw the “pink” Panthers 22–20 in a thriller in sunny Brisbane, and the Central Pulse weren’t far behind, keeping their perfect record in the ANZ premiership intact with a 58–52 win over the Northern Stars despite missing three Silver Ferns.

Canada beating the Black Ferns 22–19 in a thrilling upset in their rugby international in Christchurch might seem like a weird inclusion, but the emergence of teams like Canada has to be good for women’s rugby, which has been dominated by two or three countries for too long.

Begrudgingly, due recognition must go to the blue side of Manchester, winning an unprecedented fourth straight EPL title. City’s quality cannot be denied, and a second League-FA Cup double is on the cards. But first, they have to get past the “red” tide, although is that just more wishful thinking from a long-suffering United fan?

Kiwis can fly, and Scotty McLaughlin was in full flight, clocking a record average speed of 234.220mph or 376.940kmh over four laps of “the Brickyard” in winning pole position for the Indy 500, the fastest ever by anyone, let alone a Kiwi. Although if you think that’s fast, it still comes up short of the fastest bird, the peregrine falcon, which has a recorded top speed of 389kmh.

BAD

Losses for the Dalefield men and women in the Intercity Hockey Championship, and Douglas Villa and Greytown in their Capital Football divisions, add up to a bad weekend for local teams competing over the hill. The only shining light was Wairarapa United, who won their Capital Women’s clash with Western Suburbs 7–5, with teenager Violet Fisher netting five goals.

The growing rift between professional rugby players and provincial unions has the potential to get ugly. The pros have threatened to form a breakaway organisation to run the professional game in New Zealand if next week’s special general meeting does not adopt the recommendations from an independent review of NZ Rugby’s governance and provincial unions retain power in the sport’s governance.

Scottie Scheffler swings into the bad section after his arrest for the alleged assault of a police officer while trying to enter the Valhalla Golf Club on the second day of the US PGA Championship. The world number one then played like nothing had happened, carding a five under par 66.

UGLY

Not much good comes out of boxing boofhead Tyson Fury’s mouth, but nothing tops his preposterous claims that Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk got the judges’ call in their heavyweight title fight because “his country’s at war, so people are siding with a country at war”.

There’s nothing new about betting scandals in sports, but the latest is close to home. Two former Phoenix players, All White Clayton Lewis and Mexican Ulises Dávila, are implicated in a scheme in which it is alleged players deliberately received yellow cards, acting under instructions from a South American organised crime figure.

SAD

“Going, Going, Gone!” That was the familiar commentator’s call as “Super Sid” Going scampered off for another try in his illustrious career for the All Blacks and North Auckland [now Northland]. Rated by many as the All Blacks’ greatest running halfback, and one of my childhood heroes, Sid scored his first try on the great rugby field in the sky after dying last weekend at the age of 80.

On that sad note, this column is going, going, gone for another week.

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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