Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

The case against Cairns

May 21st, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Press reports:

Chris Cairns continues to protest his innocence amid more evidence against him being disclosed, this time from Lou Vincent’s ex-wife, alleging he was a cricket match-fixing ringleader.

Cairns’ name was publicly linked with sworn evidence to International Cricket Council investigators for the first time today, as the former New Zealand allrounder issued a second statement in a 12-hour period: ”I totally reject the allegations against me and I will prove this.”

The latest leaked evidence is a sworn 10-page document from Elly Riley, Vincent’s ex-wife, that she provided to anti-corruption (ACSU) investigators last October. It follows leaks in the past week of former test opener Vincent’s explosive 42-page testimony, and New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum’s signed three-page statement, both of which are understood to name Cairns as a fixing ringleader.

Riley’s evidence, reported by One News tonight, was that the fixing began at the Indian Cricket League in 2008, and that Vincent told her: ”Chris was going to pay him US$50,000 (NZ$58,000) a game for the fixing.”

I feel very sorry for Lance Cairns, who was one of my cricketing heroes growing up. His one handed six off Dennis Lillie remains etched in my memory. He will be torn between love for his son and love for his game.

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McCullum makes 300

February 18th, 2014 at 11:48 am by David Farrar

In a five hour working group meeting on e-voting but actually mainly been following the cricket online. Brendon McCullum has just made his 300 (302), beating Martin Crowe’s 299,which gives him the NZ test batting record. A superb display from McCullum, and from the Black Caps generally. Has been a great summer of cricket.

UPDATE: And now out on 302. Thank God it was not two deliveries earlier!


Are the Sevens losing its appeal?

February 4th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Going cheap – a ticket to the Wellington Sevens (costume not included).

With four days to go, the rugby tournament has not sold out – and bargains are available as many fans try to offload spare tickets at well below cost price.

Increased competition from the likes of the newly established Auckland Nines – to be held at a sold out Eden Park the following weekend – has led to a fall in demand this year.

In previous years, tickets to the annual sevens tournament have sold out in a matter of hours, with scalpers able to command inflated prices to those who missed out. …

Sevens Wellington general manager Marty Donoghue said only about 1750 tickets remained, and they would be sold by Friday.

That’s astonishing. I recall some years the tickets all going within 20 minutes or so. To have almost 2,000 unsold the week before the Sevens suggests that demand is greatly reduced.

I’m still a big fan, and would go if I could. However I’m tramping the Tongariro Northern Circuit this weekend. Incidentally that means there will be little blogging from Thursday to Sunday.



January 16th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Hawkes Bay Today reported:

The CEO of Hawke’s Bay Cricket Association, Craig Findlay, has come under attack after scoring a blistering 307 retired from 115 balls against a schoolboy bowling attack last weekend.

Findlay, who smashed 27 sixes in his innings for his Complete Flooring Napier Technical Old Boys (NTOB), was last night having second thoughts about his mammoth feat as outraged parents, players and fans questioned his motive in the division one match against the St John’s College First XI team at Nelson Park, Napier, on Saturday.

The former first-class cricketer pummelled the Hastings schoolboys into submission with a strike rate of 266.66.

If you are the senior cricket executive in the region, whose job is to get people into cricket, it seems unwise to pummel a schoolboy team in that way, even if they play in a club league.  I’m not saying don’t try and score, but maybe declare or retire after your century


The fastest century ever

January 2nd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Would have been incredible to be in Queenstown yesterday to see the match against the West Indies. Anderson and Ryder played incredibly and they achieved the fastest and 6th fastest centuries in cricket. 131 not out off 47 balls was spectacular.


Halberg nominations

January 1st, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Halberg nominations:

Sportsman of the Year: Aaron Gate (cycling), Andrew Nicholson (equestrian), Kieran Read (rugby), Scott Dixon (motorsport)

I’d say Dixon most likely to win. A great year for Read, but more difficult to win as an individual in a team sport.

Sportswoman of the Year: Lauren Boyle (swimming), Lisa Carrington (canoeing), Lydia Ko (golf), Valerie Adams (athletics)

I think it has to be Ko. Golf is so much more universally competitive. To be No 4 in the world in golf is huge.

Team of the Year: All Blacks (rugby), Black Sox (softball), Men’s Pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (rowing), Women’s 470 – Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (yachting) and Men’s 49er Class Team – Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (yachting)

A perfect year for the All Blacks makes them hard to beat.

Coach of the Year: Eddie Kohlhase (softball), Guy Wilson (golf), Nathan Handley (yachting), Steve Hansen (rugby)

Hansen probably, but possibly Kohlhase.

Disabled Sportsperson of the Year: David Monk (blind bowling), Mary Fisher (para swimming), Mike Johnson (para shooting), Sophie Pascoe (para swimming)

Pascoe has won it so often, probably someone else?

Emerging Talent: Ella Williams (surfing), Gabrielle Fa’amausili (swimming), Jake Lewis (motorcycling), Tom Murray (rowing)

No real idea, but Williams is making waves (yes, pun)

And for the overall award, hard to pick but maybe the All Blacks?


Romanos on Lee v Morgan

December 30th, 2013 at 9:10 am by David Farrar

Joseph Romanos writes:

Good on Sir Richard Hadlee for having a go at the idiotic behaviour of Brett Lee the other day.

Sadly there seems to be plenty of halfwits out there willing to back Lee.

The Australian speedster bowled six deliveries to 48-year-old British TV host Piers Morgan and engaged in what Hadlee has termed ”a brutal assault” that was ”extremely dangerous and unnecessary”.

I watched Lee’s bowling in horror and tweeted my displeasure. The tenor of some replies was that Morgan got what was coming to him.

Morgan sparked off the incident when he described the England team’s performance as pathetic during the Ashes series and, tongue in cheek I felt, said he wouldn’t mind facing Mitchell Johnson.

One thing led to another and suddenly there was Morgan, a rotund middle-aged man, standing 20 metres away from one of the fastest bowlers in the world in a net in Melbourne, attempting to live up to his end of a dare.

Lee had the chance to have a little fun with Morgan, but instead deliberately targeted him, even when the batsman backed away several metres.

Morgan was hit four times and it was only good fortune that none of the blows maimed him, or worse.

I admired Morgan’s pluck in stepping into the nets in the first place. At that point it was a bit of light-hearted entertainment that had played out well.

Lee then totally misread the situation. Instead of having a little fun at Morgan’s expense, he tried to hit him.

It was shameful. Such bowling would never have been permitted in a genuine match.

That is the key. Lee wasn’t bowling as he would in a match. He was bowling to try and deliberately hit Morgan.

In 1932-33 Harold Larwood, Bill Voce and company engaged in the infamous Bodyline Ashes series at the direction of their skipper, Douglas Jardine. They bowled short to a leg-side field and all the leading Australian batsmen were hit, some many times.

The tactics were so repulsive that form of cricket was outlawed.

There have been hostile fast bowlers since, including Ray Lindwall, Frank Tyson, Jeff Thomson, Dennis Lillee, any number of West Indians, Allan Donald and Shoaib Akhtar.

I suggest none has ever set out as obviously to hit a batsman as Lee did.

At times Morgan had backed so far away he was into the netting behind him. And still the ball was aimed at him.

Only once in six deliveries did Lee pitch a ball up and aim straight, and not surprisingly, he hit the stumps.

Lee should have just bowled for the wicket and humiliated Morgan by hitting the stumps six out of six times.

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The Wellington Sevens

December 6th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Sevens fans oblivious to the sport being played on the field need to start paying attention as organisers look to “transform” Wellington’s biggest party and make it more Olympic.

The centrepiece of Wellington’s sports and events calendar needed to change ahead of the rugby code’s debut at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, general manager Marty Donoghue told a Wellington City Council committee yesterday.

“We’re at a point when we need to transform.”

That move is being supported by veteran rugby commentator Keith Quinn, who says the party has overtaken the tournament.

After the meeting, Mr Donoghue – who has spent just three weeks in the tournament’s top job – said the idea was to still have the party and costumes but to put more emphasis on rugby.

A worthy aim, but good luck with that.

Increasing the rugby and family zones was a way to enhance the sport aspect, and potentially attract new audiences.

One small problem with that.

The family and rugby zones were both used at this year’s tournament, and tickets for the 2014 event have been the first in years not to sell out within minutes, with about 3000 still available yesterday.

No one wants to be in the nana section.

The move to focus on sport was backed by Quinn, who ranked the Hong Kong and Dubai events ahead of Wellington’s because they focused more on the rugby.

“The Wellington Sevens is very good, but it’s at its best on a sunny day on the second afternoon, when the crowd finally does focus in on the last stage of the semifinals and the various finals . . . Sometimes I have felt that the party has distracted the crowd from the event, the sports event.”

I think many who attend have the view that the rugby distracts the crowd from the party.


Who are the cricket players under investigation?

December 5th, 2013 at 1:05 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

New Zealand Cricket boss David White knows the identity of the former players under investigation by the sport’s anti corruption unit.

However he cannot name the three players understood to be at the centre of the claims due to the ongoing nature of the International Cricket Council investigation. …

White spelled out key points from NZC’s perspective.

”Firstly no current New Zealand players are being investigated; no games played in New Zealand are being investigated; and lastly no matches under NZC’s jurisdiction are being investigated,” he said.

It is reassuring to know they are not current players. Hopefully the players out themselves to remove the suspicion from others.


Gareth Morgan offers to take over NZ Football

November 25th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Gareth Morgan writes:

In my view key to progress of elite football in New Zealand is to integrate the sport from amateur elite to the sole professional team and on to the national team. This in essence is what Australia’s FFA has achieved and the game in that country has gone ahead in leaps and bounds. By comparison New Zealand has languished. To achieve this requires a lift in expertise both in the governance of the code and coaching expertise right down to the most junior elite levels.

To this end I’m prepared to invest $5m in NZ Football so long as the government invests twice that amount, with the focus being on achieving the integration and thereby ensuring our young players develop within an environment that reflects the type of football our most senior teams practice and we produce coaches steeped in that methodology. We need to jettison the almost inbred tendency from grassroots level to play kick-and-chase football that comes about because of our inability to develop players that are good enough at tap-and-go, possession-based football. This is the cultural change we are undertaking at The Phoenix and was behind the Mexican sarcasm about converted rugby players.

A requirement of my proposal is that the current leadership of NZ Football resign and a new board (still a blend of people from within the game and others who know how to build businesses and execute strategy) be appointed with this mandate clearly defined.

I presume Gareth thinks that the successful record of strategy and governance he has brought to the Phoenix should be extended to the NZ Football team.

In the last season the Phoenix played 27 games. They won seven, drew six and lost 14. This placed them 10th out of 10.

I of course expect the Government to hand over ten million dollars tomorrow to implement Gareth’s plan.

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South Africa and the All Blacks

October 10th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

An interesting piece by Lindiz van Zilla in the Weekend Argus:

I am South African and I support the Springboks. And I will shout for the Springboks when they line up against the All Blacks at Ellis Park today. But this wasn’t always the case. …

My heroes, our heroes, were Jeff Wilson, Andrew Mehrtens, Josh Kronfeld and Sean Fitzpatrick. Those with Maori or other South Sea island heritage were held in even greater esteem. Glen Osborne, Jonah Lomu, the centre pairing of Frank Bunce and Walter Little, Graeme Bachop, Ian Jones and Zinzan Brooke were idolised like no Springbok star ever could be.

We were being represented by men from New Zealand. In them lay our pride, our dreams, our resistance to the racist dinosaur that was South African rugby.

All we could think of was how apartheid had denied our greatest talents like Eric Majola, Millin Petersen, Cassiem Jabaar, Peter Makata, Charlie Davids and Salie Fredericks the opportunity to play for the country of their birth. Simply because of the colour of their skin.

For years, nay generations, the All Blacks had been our chosen ones. Our instrument of opposition. Ask any long-standing South African All Black supporter and the answer will invariably be “for as long as I can remember”.

And this carried on for a long time:

A sizeable contingent of these New Zealand-supporting fans and like-minded fan groupings, mainly from Port Elizabeth, therefore make it their business every year to follow the All Blacks to whichever Test venue in South Africa the team is playing at. Last year it was the FNB Stadium, today Ellis Park.

The uniqueness and peculiarity of this phenomenon is something that even the All Black players and management have over the years found a little odd. Where else in the world do you find a people, be they indigenous or from a colonial background, who so vociferously support a team from another country?

Most South Africans find this anomaly disturbing and perhaps it is this extreme notion of nationality and patriotism that exacerbates the levels of ill-feeling between local Springbok and All Blacks supporters.

And why does this anti-Springbok sentiment run so deep in large sections of the coloured community and not in the black African rugby fraternity, which also boasted a wonderful and rich history in the heartland of the Eastern Cape and which also suffered – and still suffers – the ravages of apartheid?

And why only rugby? Surely cricket has as racially divisive a past as the 15-man sports code.

More than two decades on from unification in cricket and Cricket South Africa is considering anew quotas for black African players in domestic cricket. Why then is there no such fervent support in the Cape for cricket teams from other countries?

It has been an interesting phenomenon.

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How about a new yachting competition?

September 27th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Had a conversation this morning with someone who pointed out that if NZ had not taken part in this year’s America’s Cup, it would have been a debacle. And it looks clear under the rules set by the winner, we’re unlikely to be able to challenge successfully again.

So why not set up a new competition. Some rules that can’t be changed could include:

  • Crew can only compete for the country they were born in
  • A spending cap for teams
  • No modifications once the cup has begun

I reckon that might get many more challengers than the America’s Cup gets!

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An open letter from Team New Zealand

September 26th, 2013 at 5:59 am by David Farrar

Sandysview has penned an open letter to Emirates Team New Zealand from Team New Zealand:

G’day Deano and the crew.

This is from us back home. You’ll be having some strategy meeting. Knocking around a few ideas. Hell, you might even be asleep. Us at home? We’re doing that too. You’ll have your eye on the big picture, the San Francisco bay weather, the clouds, the rules, what the Americans (or is it Aussies?) are doing to their boat over night. Probably giving the big outboard motor a polish, if the last few days are anything to go by.

We don’t know about any of that stuff. We know bugger all about sailing. I don’t mean that lot by the sea up North with their flash boats sitting around the yacht club yelling at the television in some nautical language we don’t speak, they know about sailing. I mean us. The rest of us out in New Zealand.

We are getting up every morning to watch you and the boys taking on the Billionaire at a sport none of us know about. We want you to win it for us. You’ve got Team New Zealand written on the boat. That’s our boat. We are Team New Zealand.

We should be going to work or school, some of us are and taking a radio or even a TV along. Most of us though, are at home or by a TV somewhere, anywhere, watching you and the boys racing up and down San Francisco bay after a little yachting cup with someone else’s name on it. We don’t know what a jibe or a tack is. Well we didn’t but we do now. We don’t know what a lay line is or why some of you keep running back and forth across the boat. We have no idea how it goes so fast into the wind or why it looks like a space ship on water. How it doesn’t even seem to float in the water, but skims on those ‘foils’. We just know it has Team New Zealand written on it and that’s who we are.

We are out there in places often nowhere near the water watching every race. We aren’t sailors, most of us have never been on a yacht. We run coffee shops in Tirau. We drive trucks in Te Kuiti. We are sitting on a quad bike on the side of a hill near Hunterville with the commentary on an old transistor radio. We teach kids in Palmerston North, or we would if they weren’t at home watching the America’s Cup. We are talking about the days races (or not) with people we don’t know in the pub after work in Westport. We compare our new expert opinions on yacht racing with strangers on a commuter train from Tawa. Outside New Zealand we are in Edinburgh, Munich, London, LA, and Lima. Doha, Goondiwindi, Cairo and Helsinki, wherever we are, we’ve found a way of watching. We are even on the waterfront in San Francisco. We made a special trip. We are Team New Zealand and our name is on the boat.

This is what we do you see. We get behind our people in black taking on the world. All of us. We become experts in things we knew nothing about. OK, we need the television to put graphics all over the screen so we know what’s going on. We listen to the commentators telling us things as though we were all sailors. We aren’t though so we don’t know what they are talking about. What we know now is that you have to win the start and you have to win the finish. The stuff in between? No idea mate. But we are Team New Zealand and our name is on the boat. You do the sailing, we’ll be willing you to win, that’s our job, all of us. No other country does this like we do. This is who we are. This is why we win. When you take on Team New Zealand, you take on the whole country. We’re watching Deano, all of us.

We are Team New Zealand and our name is on the boat. Let’s write it on our cup and stick it on the mantelpiece.

Just one more to win Deano, see you soon mate. Bring the cup home.

Very well crafted.

UPDATE: And Oracle Team USA have won the race and won the America’s Cup 9-8, and 11-8 in terms of on the water races. They deserve their victory, and coming back from 8-1 down is incredible endurance under pressure.

Team NZ can feel a bit unlucky. They would have won the cup if not for the maximum 40 minute race rule. However they were advantaged by the two point penalty to Team USA.

In the end Oracle had the faster boat and tactics can only do so much against speed. It is a good reminder that money does play a huge role. But it would be churlish to put their victory down to technology alone. Off memory Oracle won more starts than Team NZ did, and I have to say generally sailed better. Again they deserve their victory.

We no longer have to debate how much taxpayer money to contribute to a defence of the America’s Cup, which is a sort of silver lining. At some stage there will be a debate on whether we should contribute to a future challenge. I think the lesson from this regatta is we should not. We will never be able to match the funding and budget of the US and European syndicates, so the chances of future victory is somewhat remote. I’ll be delighted if a NZ syndicate challenges again, but any taxpayer contribution should be minimal, if at all.


Oracle win their 9th race

September 25th, 2013 at 9:13 am by David Farrar

Oracle have now beaten Team NZ 9 to 8 on the water.  The official score is 7-8 because of the penalty for cheating. But you know what, I don’t want Team NZ to win the America’s Cup based on a legal penalty (for stuff that occurred before the finals).

An amazing come back by Oracle, and full credit to them.

I so want Team NZ to win, but my fear is now that any win is tainted and may also end up in court. So maybe it is better for Oracle to win the next two races? I have such mixed feelings.


Well done Cactus

September 19th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar



The Herald reports:

The Kiwis behind the dawn flag-bombing stunt at one of Larry Ellison’s San Francisco properties today said the operation took hours in the researching and planning.

A video posted online this morning of a trio, calling themselves the Kiwi ninjas, decorating Ellison’s garage with New Zealand flags has fast gone viral. The idea was dreamt up by a group of fervent Team New Zealand supporters over a few beers earlier this week.

One of the ninjas who donned the full lycra body suit, Cathy Odgers, said everything down to the type of duct tape they used to attach the flags to the garage door was thoroughly researched

“I think it would have taken five billable hours of planning the whole exercise,” joked Odgers, a lawyer by trade, “but the result was priceless.”

“We’d done a reconnaissance mission before that so we could get the logistics all nailed down.”

Odgers, who performed the stunt with builder Paul ‘Noddy’ Holmes, and Daniel Welton (aka the random from the Hawke’s Bay) said they were careful not to cause any damage to Ellison’s property, situated in the wealthy district of Presidio, which looks down on to the Golden Gate Bridge.

“It wasn’t a wooden door, it was a stainless steel – so it wasn’t going to mark or anything like that. We didn’t want his nice garage door ruined by duct tape. I made sure we picked the right tape as well, we spend a while researching that.” 

Excellent job. Let’s hope today is the day the NZ flag wins the America’s Cup.

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Looking good

September 11th, 2013 at 9:07 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Team New Zealand’s mastery upwind played a huge role again today as they crushed Oracle in the fifth race of the America’s Cup final to take a commanding 4-1 lead.

Dean Barker’s crew thrashed the defenders by 1m 5s in another come-from-behind victory.

The win leaves New Zealand needing five wins to claim the Cup while Oracle still have to claim 10 to hold on to the Auld Mug.

Team NZ is looking good to win, but however Oracle were leading this race until they made an error. It’s great the races so far have actually been exciting.


2 to -2

September 9th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reported:

Seven to go. Emirates Team NZ lead 2 to -2 in the 34th America’s Cup.

But, okay, Sir Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison, you can take a bow now. That was all that was promised.

Maybe there should be medical disclaimers: you know, ‘Doctors warn that watching the America’s Cup can be hazardous to your health’.
It’s difficult to remember (possibly because there isn’t one) an America’s Cup this tense.
In race one, we saw the previously unseen – lead changes. Two of them . Count them. There was aggressive sailing from Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, nail-biting near misses and enough to know this is going to be a close-run thing.

These two boats are close in speed and close in the skill that sails them. When Team NZ seemed to be in control, Spithill struck. Barker rounded the bottom mark close to the actual mark to choke Spithill and OTUSA off.

He lost impetus, OTUSA pulled off a slingshot move round the outside, gaining advantage and momentum. Later in the third leg, upwind, the USA team tacked aggressively, wresting the lead off Team NZ. But Barker struck back, with Aotearoa’s expected upwind speed a boon, and tacked back into the lead – establishing the control that led to a 36s win.

That was like a race of old. Actual race tactics, rather than just being about the best design!

Race 3 and 4 will have occurred by the time this appears. I’m on a plane at the moment! Hopefully now 4 to -2.

The next races are:

Wednesday, September 11 

Race Five 0810 – 0840
Race Six 0910 – 0940

Friday, September 13 

Race Seven 0810 – 0840
Race Eight 0910 – 0940

Sunday, September 15 

Race Nine 0810 – 0840
Race 10 0910 – 0940

Monday, September 16 
Race 11 0810 – 0840
Race 12 0910 – 0940

Wednesday, September 18 

Race 13 0810 – 0840
Race 14 0910 – 0940

Friday, September 20 

Race 15 0810 – 0840
Race 16 0910 – 0940

Sunday, September 22 

Race 17 0810 – 0840



Dirty cheaters

September 4th, 2013 at 10:41 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The America’s Cup international jury today docked Oracle Team USA two points in the America’s Cup match race series against Emirates Team New Zealand, banned a leading Oracle sailor from the regatta and excluded another from taking part in the first four races.

In addition Oracle have been fined US$250,000 while two Oracle shore crew have also been excluded from the 34th America’s Cup, which begins its best-of-17 series on Sunday morning at 8.10am (NZT).

The action comes after days of jury inquiries into allegations of cheating involving the discovery of illegal modifications to AC45 45-foot catamarans belonging to Oracle and used in the America’s Cup World Series. The team members are the first ever to be excluded from an America’s Cup regatta for cheating.

Oracle seem to have been doing their best to destroy the America’s Cup. I hope they lose 8 to – 2.


Ryder tests positive

August 20th, 2013 at 9:40 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Cricketer Jesse Ryder tested positive for a performance-enhancing stimulant, RadioLive reported this morning.

If there was a cricketer who’d you guess was most likely to test positive, Ryder would be high on many lists.

A hearing by Drug Free Sport NZ was reportedly held earlier this month during which his lawyers said he had taken a poorly-labelled weight-loss supplement.

Yeah, right.

“Unfortunately for Jesse he wanted to lose some weight so back in March [he] walked into a chemist and, as I understand it, grabbed a product from the chemist.

“He went home, did the due diligence on it in terms of jumping on Google, checking all the ingredients were safe for him to have and not on the wider banned list.”

I wonder if he has receipts from the chemist? And would not a professional sport like Cricket have one or more doctors and experts who you could contact to check?

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Will Coliseum get the rugby?

August 16th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The internet-based broadcaster that snatched English Premier League football away from Sky is now eyeing the All Blacks.

This weekend Coliseum Sports Media will stream the first of 380 Premier League matches to subscribers.

CSM chief executive Tim Martin said he could not reveal the number of PremierLeaguePass subscriptions, which start at $149.90, sold so far, but interest had “ramped up massively” this week.

“You don’t know how the sales curve is really going to shape because we haven’t done this before … we are well into the thousands, well into, and that is tremendously encouraging.”

He confirmed Coliseum is eyeing a much bigger scrap with Sky – contesting the rights to the All Blacks and Super 15 when they come up in 2015.

Although there had been no concrete discussions, Mr Martin said he had met with New Zealand Rugby bosses. He acknowledged they had a strong relationship with Sky, but an eventual play for rugby was realistic.

Yesterday Sky’s director of sport Richard Last said it was committed to holding on to rugby rights.

“There is always a competitive marketplace … I don’t think there is any piece of content that is an absolute slam-dunk must-have, because you have to run a business.

“Obviously everybody who is interested in television in New Zealand would be interested in rugby. Winning the rights is easy – you just pay more than the person with the highest bid.”

Excellent news. Competition for sporting rights is good for the sports, and I believe good for viewers also. It is quite exciting to see video on demand emerging as an alternative to traditional television.

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Air NZ and Team NZ

August 8th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Air New Zealand is a supplier to New Zealand’s America’s Cup arch-rivals Oracle.

The airline is listed on the United States yachting syndicate’s website as a supplier with 28 other companies, some of them international firms but most from America.

Why wouldn’t they be? I expect Air NZ to supply services to anyone willing to pay.

Emirates Team New Zealand are on course to race Oracle for the Auld Mug and support for a rival outfit by the airline – which is mainly taxpayer-owned – is puzzling an avid fan of New Zealand’s challenge.

“It’s strange to think that the national carrier of New Zealand is helping the competition, let alone the New Zealand Government holding a majority stake in the company,” said supporter Kurt Bennett.

So we have a story based on one fan’s puzzlement?

Air NZ is not helping the competition. They are not training the crew up. they are providing seats on planes.

The Government also owns about 73 per cent of Air NZ, which because of exclusivity arrangements would be prevented from joining Emirates in backing the New Zealand challenge.

Exactly. So how is this a story?

Mr Bennett said he understood that but did not think it was appropriate for a company such as Air NZ to support another country, let alone the direct competition to Team NZ.

They are not supporting another country. They are providing a service.

Air NZ said it was not a sponsor of Oracle, just a supplier, but did not provide details of the nature of the deal. “It’s worth noting that Emirates Team NZ and Oracle are both users of Air NZ services. Oracle and Emirates have people based in New Zealand and Air NZ is the only carrier to offer direct services between New Zealand and San Francisco,” a spokeswoman said.

Maybe Mr Bennett thinks Air NZ should ban all foreigners from their flights, in case any of them are sportsmen or sportswomen who compete against NZ atheletes?

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The Nation 20 July 2013

July 19th, 2013 at 4:20 pm by Kokila Patel

Coming Up this week on The Nation

Why won’t Kiwis work on farms — a special panel.
And why won’t they also work on fishing boats — Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse.
Steve Adams — why he may be the last Kiwi to make the NBA draft.
What price 100% Pure New Zealand? Tunnels and monorails in the Conservation estate.

Saturday 9.30 am and Sunday 8.00 am on TV 3


The Louis Vuitton Cup

July 15th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

If the winner of the Tour de France is the competitor with the best chemist, then would it be fair to say the team that wins the Louis Vuitton Cup is probably the team with the best lawyer?


Not a human right issue

March 27th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Jo Moir at Stuff reports:

A 10-year-old Porirua boy has torn down his rugby posters and binned his All Blacks duvet cover after his local rugby club made him feel “sad and fat”.

Joshua Moe has been told he has to play in the under-13s this season because – at 71 kilograms – he is too heavy to play in his own age group. But Joshua fears he will get hurt playing with boys who are older than him.

It’s great Joshua wants to play rugby, and I can understand his fear of getting hurt playing with older kids. However there is also a risk of kids his own age getting hurt when there is such a size and weight disparity.

The average weight for a 10 year old boy appears to be 32 kgs, so at 71 kgs Joshua is double their weight. The chance of them being damaged is significantly higher I would say than Joshua being damaged by 13 year olds who will still be smaller than him.

Last year Joshua received special permission to play in the Northern United under-11s team – a grade lower than the rules allowed for someone of his weight.

But at last week’s weigh-in for the new season, the club told him he had to move up to the under-13s. His mother, Vanessa Moe, queried the ruling, but was told he could either play in the under-13s or not at all.

She has now complained to the club, as well as to the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Human Rights Commission.

Oh Good God, this has nothing to do with the Human Rights Commission. Having weight restrictions for sports is hardly new. Boxing has it also.

“This has gone beyond rugby itself, and is now about a club making my son feel like crap and not wanting to play at all,” she said.

Joshua is looking to turn his back on rugby and plans to do swimming this year and have a go at rugby league next year.

“I want the rugby people to apologise and make the rules so it’s about age, not my size,” he said. “My friends all treat me the same, but the rugby club made me feel sad and fat.”

It’s awful Joshua feels like crap, and it is possible that the club officials handled it very badly. And some flexibility could well be desirable.

However at the end of the day a rule based on size/weight is not discriminatory – it is sensible and quite standard in many contact sports.

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The Halberg winners

February 15th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Simon Plumb at Stuff reports the Halberg winners:

  • Halberg Supreme Awards – Hamish Bond and Eric Murray
  • Sports Team – Hamish Bond and Eric Murray
  • Sportsman – Mahe Drsdale
  • Sportswoman – Valerie Adams
  • Disabled – Sophie Pascoe
  • Coach – Richard Tonks
  • Emerging Talent – Lydia Ko

The only one I would really dispute is the sportswoman award. I think Lydia Ko and Lisa Carrington were both higher up the achievement stakes – and Ko higher than Carrington. I would have had Adams third – and no disrespect to her – just a measure of the many great results in 2012.