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WEEKLY SPORTS REVIEW – the boat race

RUGBY – The Super 14 ladder is a log jam at the top with wins this week ever home team except for the unlucky Hurricanes. Last week it was the New Zealand teams who performed poorly and this week it was the turn of the South Africans as every one of their teams lost. The biggest win was the enigma that is the Blues upsetting the usually unbreakable Bulls team. Good wins also for the Chiefs, Sharks, Waratahs and Force saw them all wins important games but fail to make any ground up the competition table.  SUPER 14 WEBSITE

Team Score vs Team Score Date Report
Hurricanes 26 v Crusaders 26 02/04/10 Match Report
W Force 16 v Stormers 15 02/04/10 Match Report
Blues 32 v Bulls 17 03/04/10 Match Report
Chiefs 27 v Highlanders 21 03/04/10 Match Report
Waratahs 40 v Cheetahs 17 03/04/10 Match Report
Sharks 30 v Reds 28 03/04/10 Match Report
Bye Brumbies   Lions
  Team Nation P W L D PF PA PD Bp Ttl
1. Waratahs () 8 6 2 0 265 195 70 4 28
2. Bulls () 7 6 1 0 263 204 59 4 28
3. Crusaders () 7 5 1 1 218 148 70 3 25
4. Stormers () 7 5 2 0 176 75 101 4 24
5. Reds () 7 4 3 0 219 145 74 5 21
6. Chiefs () 7 4 3 0 215 202 13 5 21
7. Brumbies () 7 5 2 0 187 179 8 1 21
8. Blues () 7 4 3 0 189 190 -1 4 20
9. Hurricanes () 8 3 4 1 209 199 10 4 18
10. Sharks () 8 3 5 0 176 198 -22 4 16
11. Highlanders () 8 2 6 0 174 244 -70 3 11
12. Cheetahs () 7 2 5 0 146 206 -60 1 9
13. W.Force () 7 1 6 0 107 215 -108 1 5
14. Lions () 7 0 7 0 169 313 -144 3 3


RUGBY LEAGUEThe Warriors failed to follow up last weeks excellent result., going down to a Manly side that is starting to find some form. Big results of the round was a victory to the Sharks over the Eels and the Storm winning against St George to now be the only unbeaten side in the competition.  comeback of the round was the West Tigers who found themselves down 22-4 and come back to win 35-22. NRL WEBSITE.

FOOTBALL Chelsea were the big winners again this week with a 2-1 victory against Man Utd. The victory sees them leapfrog Man Utd and take a two point lead. as expected Sir Alex had a rant about the refs while completely ignoring the fact their second goal was via a handball.. In other games Arsenal scored a 95minute winner against Wolves to really make it a three horse race at the top. Man City junped into forth sport with a 6-1 demolition of Burnely while Tottenham stumbled at the Stadium of Light against Sunderland. PREMIERSHIP WEBSITE

CRICKET – Just the Indian League. Full of retired Aussies collecting pensions funds and young Indians trying to get a lucky break. IPL WEBSITE

FORMULA ONE – Sebastian Vettel stormed to victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, leading home a Red Bull one-two ahead of Mark Webber with Nico Rosberg completing the podium for Mercedes. FORMULA ONE WEBSITE

ROWING – Cambridge came from behind to beat favourites Oxford by a length and a half in the 156th university Boat Race on the Thames on Sunday. Cambridge, with four Englishmen, two Americans and three Canadians, lagged Oxford by a quarter of a length early on but powered back in a winning time of 17 minutes and 35 seconds. link to reply race Remeber watching this once from the Banks of the Thames. Thought it was average and then went home. When we got back home we found it was live on TV. Turns out we watched the warm up race!!!

GOLF – Tiger begins his return next week at The Masters. Cant Wait to see the crowd reaction. PGA GOLF WEBSITE




With Tiger beginning his comeback this week we should remember just how good this guy is.

With Alex Ferguson complaing about ref and the Hurricans complaining about the ref. We should be glad this guy doesn’t have a role officiating anythig in New Zealand


Aussie Open Mens Final 2010

 Tonight we have the Scot Andy Murray playing Roger Federer. The pretender verses the King. Who will win. Watching with me, Sportkiwi, and helping with comments we have Rossco and Terminator. Both with years of TV sport watching experience.

Terminator – Federer in 4
Rossco – Federer in straight sets – as good as the Scottish football team
Sport Kiwi – Federer in a classic 5 setter.
9:32pm – Mrs Rossco just arrived with a platter of food and beverage!!!! Fantastic. Rossco shuns the food for a late snack of toast. Bad move.
9:34pm – Players on court. Murray looks like a cat caught in the headlights. Federer gets the bigger roar and looks confident. Perhaps a 3 setter is on!!
9:38pm – Termiantor disappointed with the size of the TV and with the speed of the warm up.
9:38pm – Where is the ball boy who wet his pants??
9:44pm – Federer struggles through the first. Murray had a chance but according to the  Terminator he lost it.
9:48pm – Federer wins first break with a couple of big ground strokes. Rossco says you should never give Federer a sniff. Was this the sniff he was talking about??
9:52pm – Murray strikes back with Star Wars accuracy. Termiantor believe the volume is too loud. I agree but he cant hear me.
9:58pm- Rossco is happy with the service in the stands as Mrs Rossco brings in the hot drinks. Both Terminator and Rossco worried there is noone listening. Is there anyone in the world following us??
10:22pm- Federer broken Murray again. Serving for the match now. Just seen Federer’s wife in the stands. Rossco wondering who is looking after the kids and should CYF be called.
10:26pm – Federer wins first set 6-3.
Rossco – Federer marches on relentlessly
Terminator– Federer like a Tiger pounced when he needed too.
Sportkiwi – Murray in trouble, must win second set.
10:29pm -Murray wins first serve. Must be the new white shirt.
10:38pm – Federer ups the level to break Murray and go 2-1 up and serving. Terminator wonders if the Scot is withering.
10:58pm – Murray in real trouble in the second. Conversation has turned to name supression.
11:00pm – Murray comes back from the death in the 7th game. Terminator now more interested in the cricket and for a Pakistan victory.
11:06pm – Federer munches Murray in 59 seconds in the 8th game.
11:11pm – Federer wraps up the second in 6-4.
Rossco – I’m off to bed
Terminator– Total dominance. Federer not giving a sniff.
Sportkiwi – Braveheart come back needed.
11:15pm – Murray wins first game. Could this be the start of the great comeback.
11:34pm – Murray breaks Federer. Rossco may have departed early!!!
11:42pm – Murray leads Federer 5-2 in the third. Terminator speechless or tired……..
11:48pm – Murray lets things slip as Federer pulls a break back. Pure class from the FedExpress. Can Murray come back from that!!!
12:08pm – Tie break time. Murray chokes from 5-2 up. Terminator about to go home. Murray looks tired.
12:16pm – Tie breaker tense and my palms are sweating. Murray holding on by the skin of his haggis.
12:16pm – 16 Ace for Federer. Match Point.
12:17pm – Murray holds on. Haggis intact.
12:19pm – Federer with another match point. One point needed for Grand Slam 16… 
12:20pm – Murray saves.. again.. BUMMER LOW BATTERY…
12:22pm – Yet another set point. tie breaker going 18minutes. 3rd time lucky…
Sweet 16 for Roger as Murray hits a drive into the net.
Goodbye and goodnight

New Olympic Sports – Darts and Horse Racing miss out!!

Readers of this blog will know I am a fan of the Olympics. During the Beijing Games I wrote extensively on my own impressive Olympics exploits ( here ). So today’s news that the Olympic movement has just announced two new sports have been added to the 2012 Summer Games is exciting news for me. The Olympic Committee has decided to add Rugby Sevens and Golf to the list of the sporting extravaganza known as the Olympics. I am pleased as I am a dab hand at mini putt and this latest decision opens the doors for your truly to take part in the 2012 games.

Firstly, as New Zealanders, let’s rejoice in the latest decision. Surely out of the sports that we could have been voted in these two help New Zealand the most. Other sports on the waiting list  vote were karate, squash, softball, roller-skating and baseball. Clearly the sports that New Zealand favours have come through.

Our Sevens team is one of the best in the world, although that title has been a little less sure over the last few years. Despite this you would assume the big boys, reconditioning in the All Blacks camp, would come out for the Olympics.

Golf is also a game we do okay in, although I have mixed views about the inclusion of Golf. Once again it does appeal to the average man as most people have tried their best to mimic Tiger at their local course. The problem I see is that Golf at the elite level is very different to the golf the average man plays. Therefore, I believe selected measures need to be added to golf to stop it becoming elitist. Firstly, each person must carry a chilli bin filled with beverage of some sort. This beverage must be no less than 3 litres and must be consumed by the beginning of the back nine. Competitors would not be able to stop for a toilet stop and choosing beer would give you a 5 stroke head start. Secondly, no player could bring his own clubs, you would have to hire them from Olympic Committee. Just like down at your local course these clubs would be a collection of clubs from the last 30 of manufacturing, different sizes and a mixture of both left and right-handed. Lets see how good Tiger is then!!! Alternatively, my suggestion is to go with the Mini Putt theme. Each hole could present a different country and I believe with some planning some of the holes would be fantastic. It would also ensure that the facility is used post Olympics as this has been a problem in past years.

Despite these sports helping New Zealand we need to look at things on a broader scale. Choosing a new sport at the Olympics is not just a giant lolly scramble where sports are traded like baseball cards. Instead they are carefully chosen on their advertising values, their sex appeal and their popularity. Why else would we have sports like beach volleyball in the current mix. Therefore by selecting Sevens Rugby and Golf I think the Olympic committee have missed an opportunity to add some real sports to the list.

Personally I would have added Karate to the list. This would have then meant we had Karate. Judo, Taekwondo, and Boxing all represented. In a world of violence this gives our humans with ‘the violence gene’ the ability to partake. If Karate had been included the next year we could go for WWF Wrestling a few years later and the picture would be complete. After all of the medals have been found they could have a Gala evening like they do in gymnastics. I would encourage a giant fight to the last man standing. It would be like finding the best fighter in the world.

Andy Fordham - World Champions Darts player 2004

Andy Fordham - World Champions Darts player 2004. Here he highlights the level many darts players go to for that 'perfect body'-

Alternatively the Olympic Committee could have really used this as a chance to connect with the average man. That is why I would have included Darts, Horse Racing and Lounge Pool. No man in the world has not played a little pool, tried his hand at darts at some time , while the Olympic Committee could have made a fortune in betting off the horse racing. By including these sports the Olympics would have formed a link with the common man. Currently some of the best sportsmen in the world play darts. These men take their sport seriously, spending hours developing the body need for such a demanding sport. Who would say that Andy Fordham is not in prime physical condition??

I will concluded this by saying that it is also time to take the knife to a view sports in the Olympic movement. Sadly, the Olympics seems to be growing like a teenage zit and somebody somewhere must stand up and squeeze the excess pus into the waiting mirror. Synchronized swimming, while incredibly hard as I gave it a go last night in the bath, still doesn’t do it for me at the Olympics. What about handball, sure a few European nations play it but apart from that nobody knows any of the rules. I could include modern pentathlon, rythmic gymnastics, beach volleyball, tennis, football to the list of sports that need the gentle squeeze.

Not happy at just cutting a few sports I believe that it is also time to cut the requirements in a couple of sports to even up the field. Take Michael Phelps, a superb athlete who won a bucketful of gold medals at the last games. He can enter the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 400m freestyle and then about 30 different types of relays. On the other hand the Evers Swindall twins and Valerie Vili can enter only have a chance of winning one gold medal in their respective events. The solution is easy. Either force swimmers to enter only one event and therefore even the field. I think a better option is to add the 500m, 1000m and 1500, events to the rowing programme and the 4kg, 8kg and 12kg shot-put category to the athletics programme.

So you can see I have mixed emotions on the latest Olympic news. Yes, Rugby Sevens and Golf could be good for New Zealand’s chances of winning more gold medals in 2012. However, the Olympic Committee has wasted the perfect chance to get rid of a few sports and even up the playing field a little. Either way come 2012 I will either be in the New Zealand contingent with my putter at the ready or at home enjoying the exploits on TV

Make or Break Weekend

Already the stress is beginning to show in our house. The weekend is only hours old and already I have been reprimanded by Rachel for a number of minor, yet significant, transgressions. The first was a failure to listen while the shopping list was given to me and the second was failing to listen when important instructions regarding the makeup of Eli’s wardrobe were passed to me.

The reason I say that the stress has only just started is that this weekend is probably the most significant sporting weekend we have had for over a decade. The media have referred to it as ‘Super Saturday’ and while this does highlight the importance of the weekend it is effectively media speak for what is known as ‘The Make or Break Weekend’.

To those unfamiliar with this weekend you probably don’t understand its significance. In the same way that Haley’s Comets only passes our earth once in a blue moon so it is with this weekend. The sporting calendars have all converged on August the 16th – 17th it will definitely be ‘Make or Break’ for many New Zealand marriages.

Weekends like this do come along every so often, perhaps once a season. What makes this weekend special is the huge importance and national significance to so many sporting events.
Firstly, we have the Olympics and the fact that we are medal less halfway through the two week extravaganza is a concern. Saturday evening will see our big rowing hopes on the water as we have 5 boats in rowing finals. The recent form of the rowing team has been a concern and with gold medal Mahe Drysdale coming down with diarrhoea just before his last race the nation is holding its collect breathe. Mahe is also holding his breathe because it is well known that diarrhoea runs in your jeans.
We also have further Olympic medallist opportunities with Valarie Villi and Nick Wills beginning their quest for Olympic immortality.
So far, apart from New Zealand’s medal telly, the Olympics have lived up to the hype and there has been some compelling viewing. For me two things stand out. Firstly, the weightlifter dislocating his shoulder has been regular viewing in my class over the last few days. Secondly, I have been astounded at the tans on most of the Olympic athletes, especially the ones from New Zealand. I am sure you have noticed it and if you haven’t just check out our rowers on Saturday evening. While most of us here in Aotearoa have lost our summers tans and are now whiter than a Scotsman’s belly, our Olympic representatives have spent the off season on the tanning bed. Perhaps this is the reason we are doing so poorly at the Olympics.

While the Olympics will hold centre stage, that is only just the beginning of the weekend. We have the All Blacks playing the Africans on Saturday evening and victory in South Africa would see us favourites to retain the Tri Nations Trophy. While most pundits are predicting a win for the greens this could be the making of Ritchie McCaw’s leadership. While not totally convinced of an All Black victory I would put my house on the fact that Canterbury will beat the arch enemy Auckland comfortably this weekend. The fact that this Canty v Auck game only gets two lines in this tribble is testament to the sheer volume of sport on this weekend.

But before the rugby and following our rowers small medal haul we have the warriors. The warriors have been building nicely over the last 6 weeks and another home victory could see them push into the top 8. I will be watching with interest.

Furthermore, we also have the start of the all importance soccer season. The Premiership begins in England and hopefully we will see Tottenham rise above their normal 10th place finish. We also have the Phoenix starting their quest for A-League victory on Sunday afternoon at 5pm.

So you can already see the importance of this weekend. It will not be easy but hopefully come Monday morning Rachel will still be talking to me, New Zealand will have a couple of gold medals and I am not too tired to make it to work by 8:00am.