The Chiefs might just be the Real Deal
The Chiefs’’ high point in Super Rugby was a 40 point pounding in the 2009 final.. But the new coaching panel (where’s Ian Foster these days again?) have invigorated the franchise, they’ve imported a front row from the Hawkes Bay and are probably the best organised side in the competition.
Historically the Chiefs have struggled for consistency mainly due to an average pack. But flash try-scoring props, a freak lock and depth in the back row means they can now legitimately take it on with the big boys.
The fact the conference system draw means they don’t need to play the Stormers indicates luck may be on their side too.
OK, it was only the Hurricanes, but that was a pretty impressive and clinical, almost Crusader like, demolition on Saturday night; especially when considering this was on the back of the trip to Africa. If only they had a decent halfback; the Malinga try was in spite of, rather than because of, Leonard’s pass.
Good crowd too; that’s pleasing for Hamilton ratepayers; those debts might get paid after all.
Officially national embarrassment #1
As if he wasn’t toe-curling enough to start with, Danny Morrison has taken his pantomime act to new depths at this version of the IPL.
Dressed like a combination of a second rate 70s porn star and an off cast from It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, he thinks he’s like a circus ringmaster or something as he tries to excite the crowd before every match.
And in Chennai over the weekend he tried rolling out a karaoke version of “I do like to be beside the seaside”.
Not much more needs to be said
The NZ public, and its media, needs to stop the denial around the Blues.
As with the match against the Sharks a few weeks ago, the media build-up (Melodie Robinson excepted) in the game against the Reds was all about how the Blues bad form run was over and, obviously, they would win this one.
People were listening; the TAB had Blues at $1.45 favourites. Against the defending champions. And this was with absolutely no evidence that the corner had been reached, let alone turned. And with Woodcock injured.
Lift your game people; denial does no-one any favours.
Wigan Without Peer
A month ago Wigan were dead last in the table, looking up at a fixture list of Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal, and Newcastle. They were gone, they were dead, they were buried etc. And the view from the footballing elite was good riddance too. But for some dubious reffing at Standford Bridge they would have won all of those fixturers. And the dispatch of Newcastle over the weekend was as convincing as you could get.
That’s Newcastle, going into the match on the back of six consecutive victories. Who looked like the side pushing for a Champions League place?
Survival not mathematically guaranteed yet, but a home tie against relegated Wolves awaits
More than just about the game
New Zealand is slowly waking up to the drama of the NFL draft. Sometimes action off the field can be far more interesting than action on it. It might be strangely socialist, it might be delivered with a fair share of hype but it’s great drama.
It’s not unlike the IPL auctions, and there’s a large body of opinion that views that as far more entertaining than the competition itself.
Bastions of tastefulness of course; India and the USA