Posts tagged: Rugby

Another misplaced online advertisement

Try the All Blacks lineout challenge - click on the image to view full size

Try the All Blacks lineout challenge - click on the image to view full size

The All Blacks were pitiful. And I gleaned that just from the edited highlights on the news.

Now everyone is calling for Graham Henry’s head to roll. Sorry to disappoint you but he’s just been signed up til after the next World Cup.

So, while reading the NZ Herald article on the beating that the All Blacks are suffering at the hands of the foreign press I couldn’t help but be drawn to this lovely online ad for Mastercard.

Mastercard ad gone - click on image for larger view

Mastercard ad gone - click on image for larger view

Featuring Richie McCaw the advertisement from Mastercard encourages us to “Try the All Blacks line-out challenge”. Slightly ironic perhaps, given that the All Blacks couldn’t win any lineouts.

I checked the same story tonight and the advertisement is gone – replaced with white space. Oh dear.

Update: seems I was premature and that Mastercard are standing behind the men in black – the add miraculously appeared. It’s still funny.

Ranfurly Shield magic

Very good news: Wellington 27. Auckland 0.

I took the boys to the airport to welcome the team home. It’s the first time since 1984 that Wellington has held the Shield. Only four members of the current team were even born then.

Here are a few pics:

The back of the Ranfurly Shield

The back of the Ranfurly Shield…it’s not often you get to see this side…

The front of the Ranfurly Shield

The more commonly seen ‘front’ of the Ranfurly Shield…

Piri Weepu, Captain of the Lions

Piri Weepu, Captain of the victorious Wellington Lions…

A friendly Lion

A thumbs-up from an unknown player – someone please help me here…nice tattoo though…

the throng

The throng of cellphones – Score: Telecom 1, Vodafone 3…

All Blacks 101 – Samoa 14

That’s good news!

Henry vs. Deans

What a great game. Fast and furious. Exciting to watch, and a cliff hanger until nearly the end.

The Australians played with real passion. And there was no doubt that Robbie Deans created that passion. Team members spoken to during the week spoke of how Robbie makes the game fun. Hmmm… I’d be surprised if an All Black came out and said the same of Graham Henry.

While the win for Australia wasn’t a shock to me it was very surprising to hear Assistant Coach Steve Hansen speak after the game and express surprise that the Australians had kicked like a team from Canterbury. You’d surely have to be an idiot to think that Robbie Deans wasn’t going to coach the Aussies in the winning way he coached the Crusaders – wouldn’t you?

This is the second biggest margin that Australia has had over New Zealand in test history. The game in Auckland next week is bound to be a ripper.

Wellington on a good day…

Saturday just gone I was out in the Hutt Valley dropping off a bike to a TradeMe purchaser. It had been snowing that morning in the central Wellington streets so the air had not only a chill but a bite as well.

As I came off the Petone off-ramp heading back towards the city the sun was low over the western hills. The sky to the south was black. It would be a great day to sit in the car on the south coast and wait for the storm to hit.

I raced home, grabbed a camera, bundled Sugar and the boys in the car and headed to Owhiro Bay to await the onslaught. Ten minutes before we got there the sun disappeared behind the approaching front. Nevermind, it still promised to be a dramatic show.Storm in Wellington

We sat and waited. Number one son was fast asleep and snoring. Number two was excited to be offered a digital camera to take pictures. The sea was dead calm. The Bluebridge ferry chased the Interislander through the Wellington heads, trying to keep ahead of the impending storm.

Well, after that build up you’d expect that we were lashed by gales, and thunder and lightening. Sadly, no such luck. The front approached gradually, without fanfare. In fact after 40 minutes we gave up waiting and headed back up Happy Valley. The rain started ten minutes later, big ponderous drips on the windscreen.

I went to the All Blacks Springboks test match that night. Free tickets mind. I refuse to pay $150 to watch a game. We all rugged up: polyprops (top and bottom); down filled jacket; raincoat; leggings; gore-tex boots and gloves; woolly hat…I took the train in from Ngaio – a $3 return Stadium ticket. I was there in 20 minutes.

Walking along Fran Wilde Walk the rain bucketed down. I waited for ten minutes for my ticket bearer, warm and dry underneath my drenched outer shell.

We sat in Row Z, Aisle 2. That’s as far North as you can get in the Cake Tin, and as high as you can get in the stand without the advantage of a corporate box. We were so far from the action the big screen at the southern end showed the players at exactly life size. I had taken 10x binoculars. I provided my own closeups and commentary.

The All Blacks win. Graham Henry maintains his 5 year winning streak at home – we never win the games we need to.

I hop back on the train with other freezing spectators. The few South African supporters are forced to listen to the de-brief from the patriotic New Zealanders. One old man tells the carriage “The ref was blind in one eye and couldn’t see out the other”. But we won, I thought.

A woman demonstrated to the strangers around her the joy of her pocket warmer. She’d gone looking for one that day, eventually tracking one down in Upper Hutt for $12. We all had a feel. It was warm.

And so ended another winter night in Wellington. The announcer at the game earlier told the crowd that the Rimutaka Hill was closed due to snow. Anyone from Wairarapa would need to stay in Wellington.

“Enjoy your stay” he said.

How could you not?

Jimmy Cowan and rugby

Two nights in a police cell in two months and the New Zealand Rugby Union are deliberating whether to keep him in the All Blacks?

As well as these two recent debacles the NZ Herald reports an incident where Cowan was sent home from a Junior All Blacks tour of Australia after an incident in a bar.

Flick him. Give him the boot. Let him go.

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