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A start, bad formats, ugly tackle

GOOD

Wairarapa Bush kicked off their representative season with a convincing 50–24 win over Central Hawke’s Bay. There were plenty of positive signs for coach Reece Robinson to ponder, with several of the younger players holding their hands up; however, the Heartland squad is unlikely to bear much resemblance to the side that ran onto the Eketāhuna Domain on Monday.

The Hurricanes were very good in blowing away the Highlanders 41–14 to finish top qualifier for the Super Rugby finals, but the boys in yellow and black should be sending a big thank you card and piece of cake to the Chiefs for their last-minute try to deny the Blues the top gong.

How Scott Dixon doesn’t get more recognition beats me! The “Iceman” was at his coolest, calmest best as he seemed to effortlessly cruise to the chequered flag in the Detroit Grand Prix for his 58th Indycar victory. Young gun Kiwi Marcus Armstrong joined the six-time Indycar champion on the podium after his third placing.

Shane van Gisbergen doesn’t need much excuse for a good burnout, and his win in the Nascar Xfinity series in Portland, Oregon, got the tyres smoking, fuelling a great weekend for Kiwi petrolheads.

Phoenix goalkeeper Alex Paulsen’s signing for EPL club Bournemouth for a reported transfer fee of $4 million is not only good for the talented stopper but also a boost for the Wellington club and more evidence of the growing stature of Kiwi footballers.

Rowing great and defending single sculls Olympic gold medalist Emma Twigg is off to her fifth Games as part of an 18-strong Kiwi contingent.

The Black Sticks men, featuring our own Dane Lett, have topped their group at the FIH Nations Cup in Poland, continuing their buildup for Paris, while the Black Sticks women, led by Pongaroa’s Megan Hull, are unbeaten with a win and draw from their two opening games at the women’s Nations Cup in Spain.

Let’s smash our way out of the Good with an American cricketer, although it’s fair to say Aaron Jones has more than a tinge of a Caribbean accent. His 94 off 40 balls had more than a touch of calypso, too, and was good enough to propel the US to an easy win over Canada in their opening clash of the T20 World Cup.

An interesting fact – the USA and Canada played the first cricket international in 1844 in Manhattan. The match attracted crowds of 5000 to 20000 over the three days, and bets of between $100000 and $120000, and the $1000 prizemoney was pocketed by Canada, who won the low-scoring game by 23 runs.

BAD

Douglas Villa’s 5–3 loss to cellar dwellers Wainuomata has seen the chasing pack close the gap in Capital Football One, but they still remain second, albeit by goal difference.

Rugby has come up with some dumb formats over the years, and nothing quite tops the ridiculous eight teams qualifying for the Super Rugby playoffs, but the Sevens World Series is getting up there.

Regardless of what has prevailed in the seven tournaments, the series champions were all decided in one tournament in Madrid. What was the point of the other tournaments other than deciding the top eight teams? By the way, that is not a gripe of the New Zealand teams’ failures; they simply weren’t good enough on the day.

UGLY

I’ve had to dig deep to find something ugly enough, and although it took a while, an incensed Namibian rugby player’s brutal tackle of a referee is worthy of inclusion. The unnamed player overreacted after the referee issued a Grootfontein teammate a yellow card, prompting the idiot to charge into the blindsided ref and tackle him to the ground.

The good is that the boofhead won’t be seen on a rugby field again after being tackled with a lifetime ban! her fifth Games as part of an 18-strong Kiwi contingent.

The Black Sticks men, featuring our own Dane Lett, have topped their group at the FIH Nations Cup in Poland, continuing their buildup for Paris, while the Black Sticks women, led by Pongaroa’s Megan Hull, are unbeaten with a win and draw from their two opening games at the women’s Nations Cup in Spain.

Let’s smash our way out of the Good with an American cricketer, although it’s fair to say Aaron Jones has more than a tinge of a Caribbean accent. His 94 off 40 balls had more than a touch of calypso, too, and was good enough to propel the US to an easy win over Canada in their opening clash of the T20 World Cup.

An interesting fact – the USA and Canada played the first cricket international in 1844 in Manhattan. The match attracted crowds of 5000 to 20000 over the three days, and bets of between $100000 and $120000, and the $1000 prizemoney was pocketed by Canada, who won the low-scoring game by 23 runs.

BAD

Douglas Villa’s 5–3 loss to cellar dwellers Wainuomata has seen the chasing pack close the gap in Capital Football One, but they still remain second, albeit by goal difference.

Rugby has come up with some dumb formats over the years, and nothing quite tops the ridiculous eight teams qualifying for the Super Rugby playoffs, but the Sevens World Series is getting up there.

Regardless of what has prevailed in the seven tournaments, the series champions were all decided in one tournament in Madrid. What was the point of the other tournaments other than deciding the top eight teams? By the way, that is not a gripe of the New Zealand teams’ failures; they simply weren’t good enough on the day.

UGLY

I’ve had to dig deep to find something ugly enough, and although it took a while, an incensed Namibian rugby player’s brutal tackle of a referee is worthy of inclusion. The unnamed player overreacted after the referee issued a Grootfontein teammate a yellow card, prompting the idiot to charge into the blindsided ref and tackle him to the ground.

The good is that the boofhead won’t be seen on a rugby field again after being tackled with a lifetime ban!

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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