Well it’s a bit late for that now.
Bill Pulver, head of Australian rugby, has blamed the resignation of Ewen McKenzie on … the media. He said McKenzie was a great coach who had the board’s full backing and it was a disgrace he had been hounded out of his job.
Strange; especially given how quiet Mr Pulver had been all week on the subject. It might have been a little bit more relevant to come out with those comments then.
Meanwhile, McKenzie is threatening us with a book.
The Awkward Phone Call #1
Today, Steve Hansen will need to talk to Colin Slade to tell him he will miss the All Black tour to the Northern Hemisphere. That will be a tough call, considering Slade’s match winning conversion against the Wallabies last night.
What will make it even tougher is that the person replacing him has barely played rugby all year, and is not guaranteed to make the field on that tour.
The Awkward Phone Call #2
Apparently Antony Hudson’s call to Neil Emblen informing him of his sacking from the All Whites coaching line-up was the hardest call he had ever made. Which may or may not explain why he waited until the day before his all singing and dancing press conference to make it.
We live in interesting times. Obviously it’s easy to warm to someone who has put together a PowerPoint presentation on what NZ Football has ever done wrong, but we await the time when he starts walking the walk.
Stag Nation in the ITM Cup
Not the Southland Stags. Next weekend New Plymouth and Palmerston North will host ITM Cup finals. They will host teams based in Nelson, Blenheim, Hastings and Napier. These sides are spread across three Super Rugby franchises, but there is one thing that unites them.
Rugby is strong in the catchment area of the Central Districts cricket association.
Time to put a stop to this nonsense
Over the weekend, there were two extraordinary 50 over domestic matches played. In Bloemfontein there was an unbroken 367 run opening partnership. Yet neither player top scored in the match.
Then, at a North Sydney venue euphemistically described as boutique, Ben Dunk scored 229* as Tasmania racked up 398/1. Yet Queensland chased it down for the loss of 3 wickets and 16 balls to spare.
Normally early season pitches are a bit juicy, and perhaps the curators overcompensated. But cricket is best when it’s a vaguely even contest between bat and ball. There are four pretty disgruntled bowling attacks out there.
Finally, Southampton 8 Sunderland 0. Really?