The Dave Currie Finale
Not content with botching Valerie Adams’ accommodation at the Olympic Village, the New Zealand contingent went one step further – somehow, they neglected to register Adams for the Shot Put event. It was an amateurish oversight, and one that upset the build-up of the reigning Olympic champion.
But then, things took an ugly turn in the form of New Zealand’s chef de mission “Haka” Dave Currie. As the head of the New Zealand representation, it was up to him to shoulder the blame and take some responsibility – instead, he decided to hang Raylene Bates out to dry. He even used the line “The Buck stops with me”, just before he threw Bates under the bus.
From the outside, it seemed to be a move of self-preservation from Haka Dave, and it didn’t go down well with most. The only positive was that at least he kept his shirt on during the press conference.
The fact that Phil Gifford, an experienced campaigner, chose to leak the chapter on the friction between Adams and Currie when promoting the Adams biography showed he knew where the public sentiment lay.
The Warriors; on and off the field
At the start of the 2012 NRL season, Owen Glenn joined Eric Watson as co-owner of the Warriors. In the middle of the 2012 NRL season, the pair held a bizarre press conference (containing excruciatingly little detail) telling the world that they wanted to make the Warriors the best club in the NRL. Then the best club in Australasia.
“We want this club to become the best single sporting franchise in Australasia, taking it to levels never seen before in this part of the world,” Watson said.
By the end of the 2012 NRL season, the Warriors were firmly rooted in the bottom three, had fired their coach before his first full season was out, and had gone looking for the best replacement Super Coach money could buy, and come hell or high water, they would get their man – Craig Bellamy. Or perhaps not.
The Ryder Mishandling
At the start of 2012 Jesse Ryder was on the side-lines recuperating from a hamstring injury. He was given time; the plan was some Plunket Shield games in February with the target being the March tests against South Africa.
In his first game back for Wellington he scored 80 of 55 balls and suddenly found himself in Auckland playing the deciding T20 against the Proteas with that one innings behind him. But it started so well; Ryder raced into the forties at a strike rate approaching 200 and NZ looked to be heading for s series win.
Then the rain came and the players left the field for five minutes. On return Ryder, and the other batsmen, had lost their rhythm and couldn’t hit some very good South African bowling off the block. He was out for 52 off 42 and the home side lost by three runs.
The following day Craig McMillan came out in an extraordinary attack saying the defeat was all Ryder’s fault and, quite bizarrely, said he was more focussed on making a T20 fifty. Of all the international milestones on offer that would have to be at the top of the irrelevant list.
By the time the ODI series got to Napier he was clearly lacking confidence and any match fitness he may have had if the original plan had been stuck to. He went out for a drink (no windows were close to being involved) some people spotted him, and went to the media the following day.
He has not played for New Zealand since, and there is no clue as to if and when this might happen again. Well done New Zealand.
The Pat Lam Dripping Water Torture
All that pre-season hype and then The Blues quickly became the laughing stock of Super Rugby. They never clicked, the big name imports were suffering a World Cup hangover, there were injuries and even just some bad luck. By mid-May it was apparent that the side was going to come last of all the New Zealand franchises and that Pat Lam had run out of ideas.
The June break in the competition, which is going to prove frustrating at the best of times, amplified the situation. TV crews were camped outside his house and negativity spiralled out of control.
It was actually cruel to keep him on, and no other sport in the world would have left such a situation to continue. But no, he had to endure the humiliation right through to the end of the season, with his future career options taking cut after cut.
Backing the wrong horse
The revelation that champion jockey Damien Oliver had backed the winner of a 2010 race in which he rode another horse was bad enough. But the timing was absolutely atrocious, with the announcement coming on the morning of one of World racing’s biggest stage – the Melbourne Cup.
And just when you thought things could get no worse, he came up with a sob story convincing enough to allow him to escape with an almost laughable punishment. Despite committing what is considered the cardinal sin in the racing industry, Oliver received the equine equivalent of a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket – a whopping 10 month suspension.
David Lange famously said once that the only quality talkback you ever got in New Zealand was relating to sport. He must be spinning in the ground at what’s taking place at Radio Sport.
Bit by bit, the station is withdrawing live commentary of matches, its founding cornerstone and relying on updates gleaned from websites or, even more bizarrely, inviting spectators at the game to call in.