Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Could the NZ Third XV win the World Cup?

September 1st, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Kevin Norquay writes at Stuff:

Here’s a New Zealand team that could win the Rugby World Cup, all made up of leftovers from the All Blacks.

Do I hear you say “that’s mental?” You are so right, it is mental and that’s why this team could win the title.

For a start, they would not be scarred by the pressure of defending the cup – something that’s never been done.

This team would have a point to prove – left out of the All Blacks, they would be out to claim rugby scalps.

So who would be in the left overs team?

  • 15. Israel Dagg
  • 14. Cory Jane
  • 13. George Moala
  • 12. Ryan Crotty
  • 11. Charles Piutau
  • 10. Lima Sopoaga
  • 9. Andy Ellis
  • 8. Brad Shields
  • 7. Ardie Savea
  • 6. Matt Todd
  • 5. Jeremy Thrush
  • 4. James Broadhurst
  • 3. Nepo Laulala
  • 2. Hika Elliott
  • 1. Joe Moody

That would be a pretty damn good team.

I remember in Dunedin the club leagues often had a University A and University B team compete in them, and the final would often be between them. Wouldn’t it be fun if a second NZ team could compete in the World Cup,  and the final was the All Blacks vs New Zealand B :-)

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A strong team

August 31st, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

It meant players of the quality of Charles Piutau, Israel Dagg and Cory Jane all missed out, with Piutau the unluckiest of the lot after some compelling All Blacks form this year.

It says something about the strength of NZ Rugby when Cory Jane and Israel Dagg can’t make the top 30.

ALL BLACKS SQUAD:-

Hookers: Dane Coles (Hurricanes/Wellington), Keven Mealamu (Blues/Auckland), Codie Taylor (Crusaders/Canterbury).

Props: Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders/Canterbury), Charlie Faumuina (Blues/Auckland), Ben Franks (Hurricanes/Hawke’s Bay), Owen Franks (Crusaders/Canterbury), Tony Woodcock (Blues/North Harbour).

Locks: Brodie Retallick (Chiefs/Bay of Plenty), Luke Romano (Crusaders/Canterbury), Samuel Whitelock (Crusaders/Canterbury).

Loose forwards: Sam Cane (Chiefs/Bay of Plenty), Jerome Kaino (Blues/Auckland), Richie McCaw – captain (Crusaders/Canterbury), Liam Messam (Chiefs/Waikato), Kieran Read (Crusaders/Canterbury), Victor Vito (Hurricanes/Wellington).

Halfbacks: Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs/Waikato), TJ Perenara (Hurricanes/Wellington), Aaron Smith (Highlanders/Manawatu).

First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes/Taranaki), Daniel Carter (Crusaders/Canterbury), Colin Slade (Crusaders/Canterbury).

Midfielders: Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders/Auckland), Ma’a Nonu (Hurricanes/Wellington), Conrad Smith (Hurricanes/Wellington), Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs/Counties Manukau).

Outside backs: Nehe Milner-Skudder (Hurricanes/Manawatu), Julian Savea (Hurricanes/Wellington), Ben Smith (Highlanders/Otago), Waisake Naholo (Highlanders/Taranaki).

Just a few weeks to go!

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Sign the petition to support the All Blacks

August 19th, 2015 at 9:59 am by David Farrar

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We all want the All Blacks to win (again) the Rugby World Cup. They’re looking good, but victory is by no means assured.

Over the last few years the Labour Party has declared a number of issues to be a crisis – the manufacturing sector, power prices, domestic milk prices, Auckland house prices and the dairy industry, and demanded the Government take action.

Without fail, each time Labour has declared something to be in crisis and demanded Government intervention, that industry or issue has immediately and remarkably improved. Just this week global diary prices rebounded for the first time this year, just one week after Labour declared they were in crisis and demanded the Government act.

So this petition implores the Labour Party to declare New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks to be in crisis. Based on history, this should propel the All Blacks to victory in the Rugby World Cup.

So support the All Blacks by petitioning Labour to declare NZ Rugby in crisis.

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A formidable All Black display

August 16th, 2015 at 7:14 am by David Farrar

It’s a good display from the All Blacks when they score five tries against any of the top tier teams. To do it against Australia was a formidable display of power, pressure and aggression. One of their best matches, which kept the Bledisloe in New Zealand for the 12th time in a row (and 13 consecutive wins)

It was also the last time Richie McCaw would play on Eden Park, and a great game to farewell him, but also celebrate his becoming the most capped player in the history of international rugby.

McCaw is to rugby today, what Colin Meads was to the generation before me.

Amazingly it has been 21 years since the All Blacks lost at Eden Park.

I can recall the late 1990s when Australia beat NZ in the Bledisloe for five years in a row. We started to wonder if we’d ever win it back.

The Herald has some comments on McCaw becoming the most capped player in history:

“Without a doubt he is the greatest All Black of all time. I am convinced that in my lifetime there will not be another player who will captain New Zealand for as many tests, or play as many tests for the All Blacks. He is a remarkable athlete, an outstanding leader and a truly great New Zealander.
John Key, Prime Minister

“I have seen for myself how part of his charm is the way he interacts with the fans and his connectivity with the community is immense. He is a legend. There is even a very small part of me that would like to see Richie and the All Blacks defend their World Cup in the final.”
Nick Farr-Jones, World Cup-winning former Wallaby captain

“As an All Black and Crusaders rugby fan, I feel like I’ve spent half my life cheering on Richie McCaw. He hasn’t quite been around that long, but there’s no denying his stature in the game. For my money he is the greatest All Black we’ve ever had, and therefore the greatest player the world’s ever had!”
Mike McRoberts, TV3 News presenter

“He is so courageous, yet so humble and is a man who is always looking to improve. He is first out the shed and last on the bus. He made others come up to his standards. This has been immensely important to the All Blacks.”
Ian Jones, former All Black

“To me he’s simply the greatest All Black. The toughest, fittest and hardest. 142 brutal and physical full test matches. He’s been to war for his country. At times fighting with one functioning foot.”
Duncan Garner, radio host

“I think all the kids up here just see Richie as theirs. He is Kurow’s most famous kid.”
Deidre Senior, Waitaki Valley School principal

“A leader that others want to follow. Richie is uncompromising and pushes the boundaries to the nth degree. Fair but tough. Winners want the ball and they want to charge forward when others are crippled by fear … In the heat of competition, when his teammates are looking for someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck — up steps Richie.”
Jenny-May Coffin, broadcaster and former Silver Fern

Can’t wait for the Rugby World Cup to begin!

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ACT wants world cup matches easy to view

August 1st, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

David Seymour has announced:

ACT Leader David Seymour intends to introduce a Bill to let people watch the 2015 Rugby World Cup in bars and function rooms.

“For such an important one-off event as a Rugby World Cup on the other side of the world, outside our time zone, I think sports enthusiasts should be able to celebrate the occasion in the same way they would if these matches were within normal New Zealand hours,” said Mr Seymour.

“I know many Kiwis overseas who watched the last World Cup from the UK, in pubs that were able to open and screen live matches. In England they changed their licensing laws to accommodate viewing the English matches during the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil.

“Current licensing arrangements are too inflexible to allow for this special occasion. Bars seeking special licenses are having to jump through all sorts of ridiculous nanny-state hoops. Police have indicated to licensees that they will oppose applications unless the licensees agree to conditions like ticket-only sales, fancy dress, live music, quizzes, guest speakers or themed food.

Totally support this. requiring every bar in NZ to get a special liquor license just so they can screen Rugby World Cup games after their normal closing time is silly.

“On the first sitting day after recess (11th August) I intend to seek leave to table a short Bill allowing bars and function rooms to open for the broadcast of any Rugby World Cup matches.

“I will seek advice from the police on how best this should be monitored.

“I have asked the Clerk’s office to assist in drafting a short Bill which will accomplish this.

“If my motion to table a Bill is accepted by the House, I will ask the Prime Minister to advance this as a government Bill, so that the Bill doesn’t languish ineffectively at the bottom of the order paper until the World Cup is over.

Hopefully no MP will oppose such a sensible bill.

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Contrasting two stories

July 23rd, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Interesting to contrast two stories on the parliamentary rugby team travelling to England to defend the parliamentary world cup title they hold.

The Herald story:

MPs will be jetting to the United Kingdom to take part in the Parliamentary Rugby World Cup after being granted special leave.

The team will take part in a tournament from September 10 to 23 – dates which overlap with the start of the real tournament.

Politicians going include Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga – who is currently under pressure over the issue of alleged violence in prisons – and New Zealand First MP Winston Peters, who turned 70 this year.

New Zealand are four times champions in the tournament, which happens prior to each Rugby World Cup.

It is understood the upcoming trip is funded through sponsorship. Players will also be dipping into their own pockets – when asked how the trip was funded, Mr O’Connor said: “my bank account”.

Pretty factual and not sensational. And I’m all in favour of MPs keeping fit by playing sport, and even better beating the Aussies and English. I don’t see this as any different to any other employer giving people time off for an international sporting fixture.

And the Stuff story:

Nine MPs – including two ministers – are taking leave from Parliament to travel to England for the Rugby World Cup.

Corrections minister Sam Lotu-Iiga, his Cabinet colleague Commerce minister Paul Goldsmith and NZ First leader Winston Peters are among those who will skip parliamentary sessions in lieu of the September junket.

So the first two paragraphs make it look like they are merely going to England to watch rugby rather than play rugby – a huge difference.

They’ll play in the Parliamentary Rugby World Cup which runs alongside the tournament.

Also on the team are Labour’s Damian O’Connor, Stuart Nash, Peeni Henare and Kelvin Davis, and National’s Alfred Ngaro and Mark Mitchell.

Parliament’s business committee gave leave for the absence from September 10 – 23, which means the MPs will be in England for the opening, but will miss the October 31st final.

Later on it mentions they are actually playing rugby. Also as one can see they are there for very little of the actual Rugby World Cup.  The first game is on 18 September so they are there for only eight out of 40 pool games and none of the eight knock out games.

Now you can have views on whether the MPs should get time off to defend the world title – that’s fine. But making it look like they are primarily going to watch the RWC is unfair, when in fact they are there for just a small fraction of the RWC.

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All Blacks vs Samoa

July 9th, 2015 at 11:11 am by David Farrar

The actual game of rugby wasn’t a flash one, but the reception the All Blacks got in Samoa showed that the test match was long long overdue. Big credit to John Campbell who helped lead the charge on this..

A fair number of our All Blacks have Samoan ancestry, and we have benefited greatly from them. It was nice to have the All Blacks give something back. It meant so much to those in Samoa, and especially the kids who aspire to one day play for Samoa, or the All Blacks.

The demands of the international calendar means that this can’t be an annual event, but I hope it isn’t a one off. At a minimum there should be a match every world cup cycle.

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Hurricanes vs Highlanders

June 28th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

As a Wellingtonian who lived and studied in Dunedin, I always support Wellington and Otago sports teams. So a Hurricanes vs Highlanders Super 15 final is the ideal for me – I’l be happy with whomever wins. However my greater loyalty is to the Hurricanes, and I will be cheering for them. So thrilled they made the final, and it will be at home.

So who do we all think will win, and who do we want to win?

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Blatter goes – finally

June 3rd, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Sepp Blatter has stunned the world of football,  resigning as Fifa president just four days after being re-elected to a fifth term.

The 79-year-old, who has held office since 1998, announced the decision in Zurich on Tuesday (NZT Wednesday), six days after Swiss police, acting on a request from United States authorities, raided a hotel in the Swiss city and arrested several Fifa officials in a corruption investigation. Blatter has not been charged.

“While I have a mandate from the membership of Fifa, I do not feel I have a mandate from the entire world of football – the fans, the players, the clubs, the people who live, breathe and love football as much as we all do at Fifa,” Blatter said.

“This is why I will call an extraordinary congress to be held as soon as possible, for a new president to be elected to follow me.”

Domenico Scala, head of Fifa’s independent audit and compliance committee, said there would need to be four months’ notice for any new presidential election.

“The decision for the timing of the election of the next president will be up to the executive committee and will take place any time from December until March.”

 

This is good news for football, but why the change of heart? He was totally defiant just two days ago.

One possibility is that the corruption probe was getting close to him personally. The $10,000,000 payment to Jack Warner was apparently made by the FIFA Secretary-General. How credible is it Blatter would not have known?

But I think the bigger issue, is that the next World Cup was facing a boycott. Having chatted to a number of friends in Europe, there was strong support for UEFA to refuse to participate while Blatter remained in charge, and corruption so rampant. And a World Cup without Germany, Italy, Spain and France would be meaningless. Plus the commercial money would dry up without the Europeans.

Hopefully the next President will be someone of unimpeachable integrity – but also someone who will seek and get a mandate to fundamentally restructure FIFA so that future world cup venues will be decided by merit, not bribes.

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FIFA votes yes for corruption

May 30th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Sepp Blatter was re-elected president of FIFA for a fifth term after his only challenger conceded defeat in an election overshadowed by allegations of rampant corruption in world soccer.

Blatter’s victory came despite demands that he quit in the face of a major bribery scandal being investigated by US, Swiss and other law enforcement agencies that plunged soccer’s governing body into the worst crisis in its 111-year history.

Neither Blatter nor Jordanian opponent Prince Ali bin Al Hussein got the necessary two thirds of the ballot in the first round, with Blatter securing 133 votes against 73 for Prince Ali. However, Prince Ali swiftly conceded.

Kudos to Football New Zealand for voting for Ali. It seems difficult to comprehend how so many national associations voted for the guy who has presided over a reign of corruption. I can only presume many of them are corrupt also.

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No money for Team NZ

April 20th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The future of Team New Zealand is looking grim after the announcement today that there will be no America’s Cup pre-regatta for Auckland. …

“I think we’re at the end of the road really,” the Prime Minister said.

“Of course Steven Joyce will continue to have discussions with Grant Dalton, but the government’s position has been pretty clear.

“With the event being held 100 percent in Bermuda, that becomes a really challenging issue to go beyond the $5 million we’ve already put in.”

I’m glad there will be no further taxpayer money. I hope Team NZ get enough private sponsors to continue, but I don’t think there was a case for more Government funding.

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Chess cheating

April 16th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Gaioz Nigalidze’s rise through the ranks of professional chess began in 2007, the year the first iPhone was released. In hindsight, the timing might not be coincidental.

On Saturday (NZT Sunday), Nigalidze, the 25-year-old reigning Georgian champion, was competing in the 17th annual Dubai Open Chess Tournament when his opponent spotted something strange.

“Nigalidze would promptly reply to my moves and then literally run to the toilet,” Armenian grandmaster Tigran Petrosian said.

“I noticed that he would always visit the same toilet partition, which was strange, since two other partitions weren’t occupied.”

Petrosian complained to the officials. After Nigalidze left the bathroom once more, officials inspected the interior and say they found an iPhone wrapped in toilet paper and hidden behind the toilet.

“When confronted, Nigalidze denied he owned the device,” according to the tournament’s website.

“But officials opened the smart device and found it was logged into a social networking site under Nigalidze’s account. They also found his game being analysed in one of the chess applications.”

Sadly this is going to get harder to prevent and detect. Imagine Google Glass built into your normal glasses. Or someone in the audience having a smart phone and communicating through blinking or some sort of code.

Future tournaments may have to be in glass cubicles with one way glass, and sweeps for technology.

“The basic problem is that it’s incredibly easy to cheat with a phone,” says Nigel Short, an English chess grandmaster who once was ranked third in the world and is now 60th.

“You can have some application running on your phone, and it’s quite easy to conceal… my dog could win a major tournament using one of these devices. Or my grandmother. Anybody could do this.”

“A friend of mine recently joked that his mobile phone will beat Magnus Carlsen,” Short said, referring to the Norwegian chess prodigy who is currently the world’s No 1 player.

“I said, ‘What are you talking about? My microwave could beat Magnus Carlsen.'” …

Short said penalties have to be even harsher than those for Olympic athletes who abuse drugs because smart phones alter the playing field even more than steroids.

“The difference is, if I were to take drugs – some sort of steroids or whatever – I will still never be able to win the 100 metres or the Tour de France because I simply don’t have the physique for this,” he said, “but any club player could win an international tournament if he’s using this sort of device.”

Yep a smart phone doesn’t just help you in chess, it basically makes you unbeatable as computer power is now so great it can analyse hundreds of moves ahead.

The cheater should have a life ban.

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Hosting the FIFA World Cup

April 15th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

Six months ago, any suggestion this country could co-host the Football World Cup with Australia would have been dismissed as the stuff of idle dreams. The event would have been seen widely as too big for New Zealand, while Australians remained chastened by the dismal failure of their bid for the 2022 World Cup. Much has changed in that short period, however. Consequently, Martin Snedden deserves full marks for the timing of his effort to galvanise a joint bid for either the 2026 or 2030 World Cup.

The most obvious occurrence has been the two countries’ superb co-hosting of the Cricket World Cup. This proved they could work well together to deliver an event that exceeded expectation on every level. It also suggested they could make the step up to the biggest sporting event outside the Olympics. …

The agenda for a co-hosting bid proposed by Mr Snedden, the head of the 2011 Rugby World Cup organising committee and now chief executive of Duco Events, would build astutely on this new-found positivity. He envisages, first, getting New Zealand stakeholders on board with the idea before convincing Australia of the wisdom of a joint bid. The first part is vitally important. Fifa is keen to support football in particular regions, as shown by the World Cups in the US and South Africa. But it must be convinced both countries will totally embrace the event and use it to build the game.

I admire the ambition, and agree the timing is good. The Cricket World Cup co-hosting worked brilliantly.

But the FIFA World Cup is a different league. There are 853 64 matches (853 is for the qualifiers, 64 is for the final) to be hosted and the costs can be massive. Brazil spent almost US$15 billion on infrastructure for the 2014 World Cup.

It is estimated the US lost $9.6 billion on hosting the 1994 World Cup.

The history of recent World Cups is that FIFA walks away with a huge bank balance, and the host country a huge debt.

 

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Benaud on the under arm delivery

April 12th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reminds us:

It was the day Richie Benaud stood up for principle over patriotism.

As evening descended on the Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 1, 1981, Australasia was gripped by furious debate after an incident many were already describing as having changed cricket forever. 

With just one ball left to play, and New Zealand needing a six to tie the one-day international match, captain Greg Chappell ordered his brother, Trevor, to bowl the final delivery underarm.

In his post-match wrap up for Channel Nine, Benaud defiantly stared down the barrel of the camera and excoriated the Australian team, calling it “one of the worst things I have ever seen done on a cricket field”.

“Let me just tell you what I think about it. I think it was a disgraceful performance from a captain that got his sums wrong today, and I think it should never be permitted to happen again.”

Pre-empting the excuses that would inevitably follow, Benaud continued: 

“We keep reading and hearing that the players are under a lot of pressure, and that they’re tired and jaded and perhaps their judgment and their skill is blunted. Perhaps they might advance that as an excuse for what happened out there today.

“Not with me they don’t,” he summed-up brusquely.

A great man, who never would have done what Chappell did.

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RIP Richie Benaud

April 10th, 2015 at 11:40 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Legendary cricket commentator Richie Benaud has died in a Sydney hospice. 

You could not over-state his influence on the game. He has been a commentator for over 40 years. The wonderful Twelfth Man take offs could not have happened without him.  Truly one of the greats.

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Is it all over for Team NZ?

April 2nd, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Team New Zealand are fighting to retain the America’s Cup challengers series after it was taken off them in a raft of changes to the next event, including reducing the size of the foiling catamarans.

Cup bosses have done a u-turn and are now looking to race the entire America’s Cup in Bermuda, after a majority vote among the six syndicates signed up.

Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton vowed to take that to the cup’s arbitration panel, believing they have agreed rights to host the series in Auckland – an event that is a key to their government funding.

Without the Auckland event and the associated economic benefits of having the teams based in New Zealand in late 2016 and January 2017, the government has made it clear that they won’t fund the team.

It is looking like it is all over for Team NZ. I don’t think this is an entirely bad thing. I’d love us to compete and win, but I just can not see it happening. There’s too much internal dysfunction, plus the rules are stacked against us. Time to move on.

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Idiot Haddin

March 31st, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has justified his sledging of the Black Caps in the Cricket World Cup final because they had made him “uncomfortable” with their “nice” attitudes earlier in the tournament.

Haddin was speaking to Sydney radio station Triple M on Monday, as the all-night victory celebrations rolled on from their seven-wicket hiding of New Zealand the night before.

Haddin was under fire because of repeated chatter and “sending off” of New Zealand batsmen Martin Guptill and Grant Elliott. But the hard-nosed gloveman didn’t back away from that, declaring: “You know what? They deserved it.”

Haddin suggested the pleasant attitude of the Black Caps during Australia’s pool match in Auckland, which the Kiwis won, had hardened his attitude towards Brendon McCullum’s team if there was to be a rematch in the playoffs.

“They were that nice to us in New Zealand and we were that uncomfortable,” Haddin told the radio station in an interview that was reported in Australian media by News.com.

“I said in the team meeting: ‘I can’t stand for this anymore, we’re going at them as hard as we can.'”

“It was that uncomfortable,” Haddin said.

“All they were was that nice to us for seven days.

“I said, ‘I’m not playing cricket like this. If we get another crack at these guys in the final I’m letting everything [out].'”

What a dick.

I’ve got no problem with some sledging, but to justify it on the basis that New Zealanders were too nice to them when they were over here is very dickish.

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2015 Cricket World Cup Final

March 29th, 2015 at 4:20 pm by David Farrar

There will be no further posts today as I’ll be watching the cricket (sadly on TV, not in Melbourne).

Feel free to comment below as the game gets going.

NZ won the toss and in a bold move have decided to bat first.

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Slater vs Ryder tonight

March 28th, 2015 at 3:20 pm by David Farrar

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 1.35.44 pm

You can see how much weight Cameron has lost training for the bout tonight.

A reminder he is fighting for charity tonight – Kidscan. You can support them by donating here. Over $5,000 raised to date.

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What a game!

March 24th, 2015 at 11:31 pm by David Farrar

The last 15 overs were not enjoyable but that second to last ball was!

The score the Black Caps needed was equivalent to around 350 in a 50 over game which is huge for a follow on. They played so well.

But credit to South Africa and their fielding. Some magnificent saves, but thankfully also a missed catch or two.

It was a clash of titans, and would have been a worthy final.

Talking of the final, if we win on Sunday I reckon Monday should be declared a public holiday!

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NZ vs SA

March 24th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Like (hopefully) most of NZ, I’m watching the world cup semi-final against South Africa. Use this thread for updates and discussion.

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Best game yet

March 21st, 2015 at 8:55 pm by David Farrar

What a stunning game. The NZ total of 393 was incredible, and Guptill’s 237 a peerless innings.

How many people thought we were in trouble when we lost McCallum for 12?

But credit also to the West Indies who didn’t admit defeat after NZ’s turn at the bat, and whacked the ball as hard as they could, maintaining the eight runs an over needed to win. Eventually the wickets started to tumble, but it wasn’t until they’d lost half or so of their team, that it looked in the bag for NZ.

Some stats from the amazing game:

  • Guptill’s 237 (not out) the highest in any World Cup and the second highest in the history of international one day cricket
  • The 153 runs scored in the last 60 balls by NZ – also a World Cup record and the second highest in ODI history
  • Guptill scoring 120 runs off 43 balls at a 279 strike rate
  • Guptill carrying his bat throughout the innings and scoring 61% of NZ’s runs
  • Guptill scoring 35 boundaries – the second highest in ODI history

So NZ now play South Africa on Tuesday at Eden Park. And if we win there it is the final vs Australia or India on Sunday at the MCG.

South Africa won four and lost two in the pools. India has won all six pool games and Australia won four and lost one. But they came very close to beating NZ so if we make the final, either of them will be incredibly formidable.

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A $6 million bowling centre for Naenae!

March 16th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post editorial:

The super-city proposal has drawn all kinds of of flak for how it might suck the “local” out of local democracy. But sometimes parochialism makes for its own dubious decision-making, as our councils proved this week.

First was the news that Hutt City Council is progressing plans for a $6 million bowling centre in Naenae.

That, one councillor calculated, means $13,000 of investment for each local bowling club member. If it’s true, that’s simply ridiculous. It gets worse, because bowling numbers are in decline – the number of clubs nationally has more than halved since the late 1990s.

Meanwhile Naenae itself is home to an unusually high proportion of young people, which makes it an even more incongruous project: expensive new digs for a sport favoured by older people..

And the costs of the centre are rising, at least for the council – it has been asked to double its contribution to $4m, while its subsidiary Community Facilities Trust will raise the rest.

Any Councillor who votes for this should be sacked. They want to take $60 off every resident and build a bowling centre which would be used by a few hundred people.

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A great weekend of cricket

March 2nd, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Went to England vs Sri Lanka on Sunday, and a very enjoyable high scoring game. England looked much better than against New Zealand, making a respectable 309.

Sri Lanka played a very calculated innings in response. They didn’t try to blast their way to an early victory, but concentrated on getting at least five runs an over and protecting their wickets. There were a couple of points where the required run rate got over seven and if they lost some wickets may have struggled. But they kept nine of their wickets and comfortably started powering up around the 34th over and made it very comfortably in the end. Not often you see three centuries in a one day match.

I didn’t see the thrilling Australia vs NZ game, but followed it most of the day through the ICC app on my smartphone. I could only imagine how amazing it would be to see Australia dismissed for 151. Australia! You expect that from one of the bottom teams, not the favourite.

It was looking like the game against England again as NZ hit out and started piling on the runs to get it over and done with. But Australia is not England. They fight back, they don’t give up. And unbelievably they almost won as NZ collapsed to nine wickets down.

At 7.30 pm I was in a theatre with a play about to start, and half the theatre had their smartphones out getting updates. NZ were nine down and needed a six to win and the lights went out. A cacophony of groans went out as everyone realised they would not know whether NZ won or not for at least an hour. The moment we got to half time, phones quickly came out of the pockets and as we saw NZ had won, cries of relief throughout the theatre.

I still think Australia is favourite to win. NZ is in the best form I have seen them for decades, but Australia will have a home crowd for the final. NZ should easily win their quarter final, so the real pressure will come on for the semi-final and final.

Looking forward to many more days of cricket before then.

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Cricket ratings on TV

March 1st, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Regan at Throng blogs:

In 2011, when New Zealand made the semi finals of the Cricket World Cup, the average audience on Sky Sport per match that the Black Caps played in was only 67,930 viewers. The highest average audience was 79,530 between New Zealand and Zimbabwe.

In 2015, the Cricket World Cup is in New Zealand and the Black Caps matches are screening on both Sky and their FTA channel, Prime. The opening match between NZ and Sri Lanka had an average audience of 161,280 viewers on Sky and another 145,940 viewers on Prime.

The difference in average audience between the last 2 years is quite considerable.

That’s a huge growth from 2011.

Back in 1995 (we couldn’t go back any further without someone logging hours in physical paper journals), the most watched match was between New Zealand and Pakistan on the 17th of December. The average audience for that game, was a staggering 602,950 viewers.

Further more, that equated to 19.3% of the entire population of 3.1million viewers.

In the 1980s (and to a degree the 1990s), cricket was massively watched on TV. We’re regaining some of the viewers of the past, but I guess today fewer people are just watching TV overall.

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