Rowing’s magnificent Olympic tradition

Any Olympic gold is magnificent, but there was something particularly “New Zealand” about the way Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan won the men’s double sculls at Eton Dorney today.
The New Zealanders lagged almost last at the halfway point, but finished with a withering burst of speed that left their closest rivals floundering.
If we think of some of New Zealand’s other great Olympic triumphs, including Jack Lovelock, Peter Snell… Continue reading

New Zealand’s gold medal pioneer

Malcolm Champion set a standard a century ago that today’s New Zealand Olympic athletes are desperate to match.

Champion, swimming for Australasia at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, became the first New Zealander to win a games gold medal. He was part of a crack 4 x 200m freestyle relay team that on July 15, 1912, not only destroyed the favoured American team by nine seconds, but also set a… Continue reading

Questions to ponder during ad breaks

OPINION:    Some questions to ponder:

Lou Vincent   Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany at home in a Football World Cup semifinal. If Pakistan had suffered a similarly monumental defeat in a major cricket match, wouldn’t every cricket follower have thought the match was fixed?

On a related subject, why is Lou Vincent treated by some as a sort of cricket hero?

He… Continue reading

Time for Fifa to get tougher on Suarez

Luis SuarezOPINION:    It is time to stop pandering to the world’s sporting superstars following biting incidents.

Luis Suarez’ punishment for munching on Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during a Football World Cup match the other day was palpably inadequate.

The Uruguayan star was suspended for four months, banned for nine international matches and fined £65,000 (NZ$126,000).

Considering Suarez was signed by… Continue reading

Pulse’s travails show fit players key

Irene van DykThe travails of the Central Pulse surely carry a message for many coaches and selectors.

The Pulse, a collection of golden oldies, were tipped as the New Zealand team to beat before the ANZ Championship.

Instead, as the competition reaches play-offs stage, they’ve fallen off the pace in the most shattering manner.

Their 60-33 thumping by the Queensland Firebirds… Continue reading

NZ Football doesn’t do itself any favours

New Zealand Football would be torn asunder if it was subjected to the scrutiny the New Zealand Rugby Union is under constantly.

all whitesEither the Government or the rugby union is the most discussed and analysed organisation in New Zealand. Take your pick, but from what I can see, more people seem interested in talking rugby than politics, as bizarre as that might… Continue reading

Coaches get too much credit and blame

David MoyesWhat a ridiculous spotlight there is on sports coaches these days. They get blamed too much for losses and praised too much for victories.

After all, they aren’t the ones on the field dropping passes and missing kicks, or scoring the brilliant tries.

Mark Hammett is now riding high as the Hurricanes Super Rugby coach. His team lead the New Zealand… Continue reading

Wealthy backers not always good for teams

Owen GlennThe history of sports clubs being owned by wealthy backers has not always been a happy one.

The Warriors rugby league club is in crisis again, partly because of the public bickering of its two billionaire owners, Eric Watson and Owen Glenn.

Watson had been with the Warriors since 2000 and has done the club a lot of good.

He… Continue reading

Sevens solution for rugby

rugby ball genericSanzar bosses are wrestling with what to do with Super Rugby.

What they really want is to make more money out of it, because it’s that income that is helping to prop up the game in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

The problem is that the public, even the rugby public, is becoming ever more bored with Super Rugby… Continue reading

Panesar’s courage should be recognised

Monty PanesarI want to talk about England cricketer Monty Panesar.

Perhaps I should be focusing on the ICC anti-corruption unit’s investigation into Chris Cairns, Lou Vincent and Daryl Tuffey and the match-fixing allegations swirling around, but there’s not much to say about that just now.

No smoke without fire, or innocent until proven guilty? You choose. It’s only… Continue reading