Campaign openings vs All Blacks

August 23, 2014

Political party campaign opening broadcasts start with the National Party at 7:30 this evening.

What’s the bet even political tragics will be tuned to the Bledisloe Cup game between the All Blacks and Wallabies instead?

¡Vamos Argentina!

July 14, 2014

If we were hosting the rugby World Cup, lost the semi-final to England, played against South Africa for 3rd and 4th place and lost and had to watch Australia in the final, how would we be feeling?

We’d be somewhat less than ecstatic but southern hemisphere loyalty would probably beat trans-Tasman rivalry and we’d be cheering for the Aussies.

That will probably be how it is for Brazil, having to watch Argentina play Germany in the World Cup final today after losing to the Netherlands yesterday.

They’d rather it was them but South American solidarity will probably trump their rivalry with their neighbours and they’ll back them against the European team.

We have German friends and our surname has German origins.

My farmer’s great-grandfather and his brother were Germans who jumped ship in the 18th century to avoid conscription into the Prussian army.

They ended up in New Zealand where eventually the name became Anglicised.

Relatives of the two brothers still live in Germany and we have friends there too so I could be backing the Germans.

But our links with Argentina are stronger.

We hosted an AFS student from there, his family is now ours. We’ve been there seven times and they’ve visited us too and the links were strengthened when our nephew married and Argentinean.

So today we’ll be backing the team in blue and white and shouting, ¡vamos Argentina!


So close . . .

July 11, 2014

Scott Donaldson has had to abandon his attempt to be the first solo kayaker to cross the Tasman Sea.

Mr Donaldson was winched on board the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter around 2.15pm after requesting a rescue from the Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre. . .

A freshly shaven Mr Donaldson told a press conference at the hospital later that he was feeling “pretty good physically” but a third attempt at the transtasman crossing was unlikely.

He said he was hurting after not completing his journey.

“I didn’t hit the finish line and that hurts me deeply and will hurt me for a long, long time,” he said.

“I didn’t want to go home.”

Mr Donaldson said he felt gutted when he saw the helicopter arrive to pluck him from his kayak, which was “wearing thin” following the “nastiest night” of the journey.

“34 miles short — that really gets me,” he said.

He said the decision to call off his mission was not made based on emotions.

“It wasn’t hard to make the call.”

He said if he had gone through the weather conditions forecast for tonight he would have risked losing communications, and that wasn’t a risk he was willing to take. . .

It must be frustrating to come so close and have to give up after all he’s been through, but the record wasn’t worth risking his life, or that of anyone who might have attempted to rescue him had he carried on and got into trouble.

Argentina 0 – Netherlands 0

July 10, 2014

At the end of extra time Argentina and the Netherlands are locked 0 – 0.

This, the second World Cup semi final, will now be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

I know almost nothing about football but I’m on the edge of my seat.

Sign of the day

June 15, 2014


28 -27, phew!

June 15, 2014

Dunedin’s Octagon was a sea of black with a very few splashes of red and white before last night’s game.

The sell-out crowd at the Forsyth Barr stadium was also showing its true colours were mostly shades of black.

Before the kick-off the mood was buoyant. The crowd quietened somewhat as England scored the first points and by half-time with the score at 10-6, with the All Blacks behind, there was a fair degree of nervousness.

However, it looked like a different team in the second half and when Ben Smith touched down for his first try as an All Black in front of his home crowd, and put the ABs in front.

He’d been equally as impressive in the first half with sprint half way up the field which ended in a try-saving tackle.

Tries by Ma’a Nonu and Julian Savea followed and with minutes to go the score was 28-27 but England managed a late try.

The All Blacks have already won the three-match series, the Steinlager Cup and the Hillary Shield.









But if this is the second-string English team it was described as before the tour, the All Blacks have a lot of work to do.

They won’t be wasting time admiring the silver-ware, they’ll be preparing for another hard test next week.

And that one won’t be played in nearly as good conditions for the teams, or spectators, as last night’s thanks to the stadium roof.

Time for a whole new competition

June 9, 2014

Perhaps the America’s Cup was once a race on the water where crews and their yachts competed with a fair chance of winning.

In recent years there’s been a lot more action in board rooms and courts.

One reason for that is the defender’s ability to rig the rules and the latest rigging is the last straw.

Paul Lewis says it’s time for a replacement America’s Cup:

Let’s start a replacement America’s Cup.

A proper one, with one set of rules for everyone and genuine competition. Not some heavily-rigged pretence at sport which is actually a play for power and money. That’s what Oracle Team USA served up with their protocol for the 35th America’s Cup this week.

This is a jack-up so obvious it should be called the Jack Cup. This went beyond the usual America’s Cup defender giving themselves an advantage. This is the US Army, armed with nukes, drones and heat-seeking missiles versus Spongebob Squarepants waving a sharp teaspoon. This is ensuring retention of the Cup under the banner of taking sailing to the masses and making it more commercial. Translation: more of everything for Oracle. . . .

A new event would be cheaper, fairer and more accessible. It could be staged in Australia or New Zealand, or even both, and would eventually grow to be its own event, maybe even overshadowing the Cup which could stand proudly in the Golden Gate Yacht Club trophy cabinet – forgotten and uncontested. . . .

Let’s have a yacht race that has clear rules which gives everyone the same chance and is decided on the water by the skill of the crews.


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