Haka gives ABs an unfair advantage/edge

Ireland prop Cian Healy bought himself a whole lot of publicity – little of it complimentary – when he slammed the All Blacks’ haka in the lead-up to the test at Lansdowne Road.Haka   Healy seemed to be going to extraordinary lengths not to be intimidated.

He said he hated the haka and wondered why the All Blacks were allowed to… Continue reading

Little Master’s pending finish overhyped

The cricket world is in Sachin Tendulkar overload. India’s Little Master, as cricket journalists repeatedly call him, is to play his final test, against the West Indies in Mumbai, from November 14 to 18.

Sachin Tendulkar

It’ll be his 200th test, by far the record. When added to his 463 one- day internationals (also the record) and one Twenty20 international, it can… Continue reading

One-sided romps don’t count as ‘top sport’

New Zealand’s top sports teams have been sadly lacking in real competition lately.  A rather makeshift All Blacks side coasted past Japan 54-6 in Tokyo, the Silver Ferns trounced Malawi 3-0 in a home netball test series and the Kiwis have begun their World Cup rugby league defence with thrashings of Samoa 42-24 and France 48-0. 

all black

I’d like to include the… Continue reading

Still hope for a final for Wellington one day

There’s a certain inevitability about being a Wellington rugby supporter. Wellington lost 29-13 to Canterbury in the national provincial championship final on Saturday, their seventh successive loss in the final.      wellington rugbyDid their fans have a right to expect anything different?

While Canterbury (who have won the past six finals!) and Auckland have feasted on championship titles, Wellington have won just four since the… Continue reading

NZ athletes can be cheats too, really

I’m surprised New Zealanders aren’t more up in arms at the failed drugs test of equestrian Jock Paget’s horse, Clifton Promise. Then again, maybe I’m not.  

It’s sensational news in the equestrian world. Paget rode Clifton Promise to a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. This year the pair have won the Badminton and Burghley horse trials, the world’s two major three-day eventing competitions.

Paget/Clifton Promise… Continue reading

NZ’s No 11 rabbit escapes the hutch

One thing New Zealand has always done well in test cricket is produce genuine No 11 batsmen.  Fen Cresswell, Guy Overton, Ewen Chatfield, Peter Petherick, Chris Martin and their ilk were truly batting rabbits. In fact, Cresswell, who toured in Walter Hadlee’s 1949 team to England, was nicknamed Ferret, because he went in after the rabbits.  chris martin

New Zealand’s reputation for producing the world’s… Continue reading

Unfortunate sign of the times

It’s a disappointing sign of the way the New Zealand sports media is heading that Brendan Telfer has to leave his daily Radio Sport slot at the end of the year.    Telfer web

Telfer has provided the guts of Radio Sport since it was set up in 1998.

In a station that focuses on talkback and has had some rather… Continue reading

Why are we so hyped up about America’s Cup?

I’ve been trying to work out why New Zealanders have been so swept up in the America’s Cup over the past month. To be honest, it’s not easy.  It’s not as if thousands of people in Invercargill or Cambridge or Waitara or Blenheim desperately follow the fortunes of our sailors in their various endeavours.  America's Cup

New Zealand has always done well in yachting –… Continue reading

French ref’s faux pas turned test into farce

Don’t you just hate it when sports officials get in the way of the contest.  It happened at Eden Park on Saturday when French referee Romain Poite ruined what was shaping as a superb All Blacks v Springboks rugby test.

Romain Poite

In the first half, Poite yellow carded tough French hooker Bismarck du Plessis for a powerful but legitimate tackle of Dan… Continue reading

Rafael Nadal’s feats not confined to clay

For a player who has won 12 grand slam titles, an Olympic gold medal and been in four winning Davis Cup teams, Rafael Nadal is strangely underrated. I write this before Nadal’s US Open final against Novak Djokovic but regardless of the outcome, he has compiled a freakishly good record since he turned pro at 15 in 2001 – he was in the world’s top 50 at just 16.  … Continue reading