Word of the day

October 1, 2011

Execrate – to detest utterly, abhor, loathe; abominate; to declare to be detestable, evil, hateful or abhorrent; to to speak abusively or contemptuously of, curse, denounce, imprecate evil upon; damn.

Go Scotland

October 1, 2011

Tonight’s big Rugby World Cup match is the battle of the Brits – Scotland vs England.

With tartan genes I’d be supporting the Scots anyway but  there’s the added incentive in this final pool game that England losing might make it easier for Argentina in the quarter finals.

Scotland needs a win and a bonus point which is a big ask, but one player, Euan Murray who sat out last week’s match against Argentina because his faith wouldn’t allow him to play on Sunday, might be inspired by Eric Liddell. He was the Scottish athlete who gave up the opportunity to run in a heat on Sunday but went on to win an Olympic mdeal. 

Australia are playing Russia as I type and interest will be more on how both teams play rather than which one wins.

This evening there’s another northern vs southern hemisphere match and I’ll be backing Tonga against France.

Golden Oldies an opportunity grasped

October 1, 2011

When planning began for the  Rugby World Cup some people outside the centres which would host games knew there would be other opportunities for them.

One of these was Colin Jackson, CEO of the North Otago Rugby Union who organised the Waitaki Golden Oldies Rugby Festival which has brought 700 layers plus supporters from several different countries to Oamaru.

Among them is 87 year old Arthur Pacey.

To get locals into the mood, a heritage rugby game – played with rules, replica posts and field dimensions from the 1930s – took place last Friday.

The festival itself yesterday with the Bog Rocks Music Fest.

It’s continuing today with matches which will follow the Golden Oldies rules, including the one about the shorts:

    • All players must strictly observe the restrictions on the tackling of players wearing coloured shorts.
    • The wearing of coloured shorts does not give a player the right to tackle other players wearing shorts of the same colour.
    • A player wearing red shorts may attempt to tackle players wearing club shorts if they feel confident and comfortable about doing so.
    • Players wearing gold, purple or special coloured shorts may run with the ball for a total distance of 15 metres in any direction. Irrespective of the path taken, if that player is not in a position to score a try after carrying the ball a total distance of 15 metres, the ball must then be passed to a team mate wearing club shorts or red shorts only.
    • Club Shorts: The normal “take to ground” tackle law applies.
    • Red Shorts: Player may be “claimed and held” but not tackled. A player in red shorts who has been “claimed and held” is considered to have been tackled. That being so, this player must then immediately exercise one of the options required of any tackled player and either pass or release the ball. The opponent holding him must not prevent him from doing so.
    • Gold Shorts: Player must not be touched or tackled nor must he tackle or attempt to tackle others.
    • Purple Shorts: Player must not be touched or tackled nor must he tackle or attempt to tackle others.
    • Special Committee Shorts: Player must not be touched or tackled nor must he tackle or attempt to tackle others.

And there’s a gala dinner tonight with former All Blacks including Sir Colin Meads, Ian Kirkpatrick and Grant Batty.

The RWC games are necessarily in bigger centres which can cope with the numbers they attract.

But the organisers of this festival have taken the RWC organisers’ exhortation to spin it wide and have run with it so smaller centres can share the fun.


October 1, 2011

I wouldn’t go so far as the Herald which said my result was fabulous, but I’m satisfied with 9/10 in Question Time.

Take away the spades

October 1, 2011

I have never voted Labour and pigs will be flying in a frozen hell before I ever contemplate doing so.

But I have friends and family who do and our political views are merely differences of opinion that never intrude on our relationships.

For their sakes I’m reminding the Labour Party that when you’re in a hole you should stop digging.

Darien Fenton’s attack on Sir Peter Leitch was vindictive and stupid. Louisa Wall’s attempt to explain makes matters worse.

Someone who cares about Labour should take away all the spades before the hole gets any deeper.


October 1, 2011

5/10 in the Herald’s travel quiz – world cup minnows’ edition.

World Cup runneth over but not for everyone

October 1, 2011

The increase in tourists who have come to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup is providing a welcome boost for the economy.  Trans Tasman reports:

Both the sporting and economic benefits from the Rugby World Cup are exceeding expectations, and there is now clear optimism the company set up to run the tournament will meet or even top its budget . . .

The injection of cash from visitors particularly in provincial centres is providing a welcome stimulus. It appears the contingents of supporters for some teams is larger than expected. The Pumas for example have about 10,000 of their countrymen on hand. Indications now are overseas visitors will spend between $800m and $1bn here over the period of the tournament.

Traffic is likely to lift as the tournament approaches the business end, and there is little doubt the hospitality trade has had a strong boost at a time of the year which would otherwise be relatively quiet.

I’ve been in Dunedin several times in the last three weeks and the city has been buzzing. Visitors have spread out into the hinterland providing a welcome boost to the provinces too.

However, the RWC  boost hasn’t been felt everywhere.

Four different Wellington taxi drivers I spoke to on Wednesday and Thursday told me that business has been quieter than usual.

They all said that they thought that meetings which might ordinarily have been held in the capital had been rescheduled for different times or places to avoid RWC crowds.

However, while the city was busy with domestic and overseas visitors when games were on, they thought tourists explored further afield between matches leaving the capital unusually quiet.

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