Rugby Union

New Zealand v Wales – Game 2

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You know what to do:? 1) leave your score before the game starts.? 2) no game talk in Backchat? 3)? Join us here while we multi-screen.? 4) do Nige’s quiz while you wait for the game to start…

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Reader content: Is our national sport dying?

The All Blacks currently hold the Rugby World Cup, and many are picking them as firm favourites to become the first to achieve back to back wins later this year.
But the health of the game at grassroots level is worrying, to say the least, if the situation in Auckland is anything to go by.

There are seventeen clubs listed on the Auckland Rugby Union website. Fifteen of these field premier and premier reserve teams, but defaults in the reserve division have become common. In the premier section last season, there were a number of horrendous defeats, over a hundred points in the worst cases. Mismatches like this do the game no good.

Junior boys club rugby is much diminished. Secondary schools rugby is in reasonable shape, but with an ever increasing gap between the big rugby schools and the others. The gap in ability between the 1A and 1B groups of First XVs is huge. Perhaps the biggest problem is the apparent inability of rugby to cater for teenagers who leave school at sixteen or seventeen. There are no grades to cater for this group, so if they want to continue playing they must play under 20 rugby, which can be rather daunting. When we look at the Auckland Under 20 competition, only nine clubs have a team in this grade. Assuming a squad of say 25 players per team, the grade caters for only around 225 players for a city the size of Auckland.? Ten clubs have an Under 21 team, which caters for around another 250 players. This means that there are less than 500 players in the group feeding through to premier level. ?? Read more »

All Blacks adopt my ‘No Dickheads’ Policy

Awesome…it looks like the All Blacks have adopted my ‘No Dickheads’ rule.

Enoka?s influence extends far beyond his job title as mental skills coach. Wyatt Crockett, the loosehead prop, says the squad view Enoka, whom they call Bert, as the custodian of their culture, and Enoka argues mental strength is impossible without a strong culture. ?To deal with pressure you need to make sure that landscape that everyone lives in and on is solid and sound and has got a blood flow through it that nourishes everyone powerfully. If you neglect nourishing who you are, where you come from and what you are about then you just become a team that operates skin deep; we have to be a team that operates bone deep.? ?? Read more »

The advent of political Mega-donors

The best thing about Kim Dotcom pouring millions into this election is that he has set the benchmark for all other parties…and it is the left-wing that has done it.

Previously we have had whinging from unions, Labour and the Greens about donations like that from Tony Astle or from chinese donors…but that was always small beer compared to the union cash, Owen Glenn’s half million to Labour and now Kim Dotcom’s millions to the Internet party.

Labour attacked Simon Lusk for daring to write a paper which some disaffected and myopic Nats leaked to them, where he advocated for the professionalisation of politics. Precisely that which Kim Dotcom is now doing.

We haven’t heard a peep really though from Trevor Mallard about German bagmen, or paid professionals, and nor will we…because when the left do it then everything is ok.

We have now entered an era of big money in politics and there isn’t a damn thing that can be done to stop it. I welcome the advent of this…and quietly snigger at the trap the left has set for themselves.

National though needs to clean out the board and any fool holding positions that hankers for the era of amateurism in politics. They need to go, because like with Rugby Union the inevitable has happened, and it is now time for the professionals. Peter Goodfellow, Alistair Bell and any other office holder who advocated for the “Lusk Clause” in candidate training needs to quit. The party now needs to mobilise and raise proper funds and set up a formalised training programme that recognises true political talent and encourages that. ? Read more »

Who is the all time best All Black? Would you pick Jonah Lomu?

via jonahlomu.com

via jonahlomu.com

Wynne Gray, NZ Herald’s rugby commentator picked Jonah

Those of us fortunate enough to watch Jonah Lomu detonate into action at the 1995 World Cup will never forget his impact on the grounds of South Africa.

Nor should those who make their living from professional rugby, a development which was accelerated by Lomu and the impression his feats left on media magnate Rupert Murdoch. Read more »

Compare and Contrast

One sports star bashes and kicks a person into unconsciousness and is jailed for two years and cries a river of tears blaming everyone else from the victim on down.

And then there is Brian Lima who brings a foreign concept to sports people doing dumb shit…accountability.

The NZ Herald reports:

Manu Samoa rugby legend Brian Lima has resigned from all forms of rugby in the island nation following allegations of an assault on his ex-wife.

Lima, the defence coach for the Samoan rugby team, handed in a letter of resignation last month, the Samoa Observer reported today.? Read more »

Fats is dead, RIP

fatialofa

Peter Fatialofa, Auckland and Samoan rugby legend has died.

Popular Samoan rugby identity Peter Fatialofa has died. He was aged 54.

Reports say Fatialofa was taken ill suddenly and died this morning. It is understood Fatialofa had a heart attack while driving in Samoa and died while be attended by ambulance staff.

Twitter was abuzz with shock amongst the Samoan and general rugby communities.

Fatialofa played for Manu Samoa between 1988 and 1996, making 34 test appearances. ?? Read more »

Can march backwards and cheat as well

Argie fans tried to unsettle Aaron Cruden by shining a laser light in his eyes.

Not only can they march backwards but they seem to believe that attempting to help their team with such tactics is a winning strategy.

All Blacks first five-eighth Aaron Cruden was once again the victim of an intentional laser light during yesterday’s win over the Pumas in La Plata.

He was caught in almost identical circumstances last year at the same venue.

Cruden was allowed two cracks at attempting to convert Julian Savea’s opening try after officials agreed he was affected by someone in the crowd shining the beam on him and the ball.? Read more »

Guildford to return to rugby after turning down Black Caps Contract

His compelling form for getting drunk and making a c*nt of himself means he was on the New Zealand Cricket radar. Instead he appears to have turned down a cricket contract in favour of paying rugby again.

Zac Guildford has been cleared to play for his Hawke’s Bay rugby club Napier Tech this weekend but a decision is yet to be made on his Crusaders future.

Guildford agreed to withdraw from the Crusaders indefinitely in January after a recent alcohol-related incident in which he allegedly assaulted a party-goer in Christchurch. It was the latest in a series of misdemeanours involving alcohol and he underwent an intensive treatment programme and an NZRU statement said he has now committed to a continuing care plan.? Read more »

Tagged:

Sports Talk: Super Rugby / RefCam

Super 15:?Hurricanes 29 Crusaders 28

The Hurricanes crept home last night over the Crusaders in a hotly contested match in Wellington with a well timed intercept try in the last 10 minutes by?Alapati Leiua to clinch a 1 point lead after being 6 points down. A missed drop goal by Dan Carter failed to put the Crusaders back in front and never got another realistic chance after that.

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This is RefCam, a new initiative to take fans even closer to the action and perhaps bring closer scrutiny to the game. New Zealand referee Chris Pollock was the first match official to wear the HD camera during a Super 15 game between?Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs last month. SANZAR will be reviewing the RefCam coverage to consider its broader implementation. Read more »

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