365 days of gratitude

June 23, 2018

An evening of rugby under cover at Forsyth Barr Stadium, catching up with friends, meeting some new people, having fun, a fast-paced exciting game, a win to the All Black and a safe trip home, for all of which I’m grateful.

20 – 15, phew!

June 7, 2014

All Blacks 20 – England 15 is far too close for comfort when it’s supposedly a second-string English team.

Mr Brown’s boys

September 1, 2013

The Otago rugby team  and the Ranfurly shield they won were welcomed back to Dunedin last week by a crowd of 1000 and a banner reading: “Welcome Home, Mr Brown’s Boys”.

The province has celebrated but coach Tony Brown and the team have been focussed on something more important than celebrating the win – retaining the shield.

. . . There is no point giving up the trophy in week one after having waited more than 20,000 days to have it. The first week has been a great ride and no-one wants to jump off so quickly. . .

Forsyth Barr Stadium has been renamed Tony Brown’s place for the occasion.

We were at Carisbrook when it was dubbed Tony Brown’s place for a Super 12 final in 1999.

Unfortunately the Highlanders weren’t able to beat the Crusaders that day.

All my fingers and toes are crossed that the party at Tony Brown’s place this afternoon when Otago defends the shield against the Hawkes Bay Magpies, has a much happier outcome.

Go Otaaaago!


Alwyn and I have a bottle of Otago or Hawkes Bay wine of the winner’s choice on the results. I’m happy to accept the same wager from others who doubt Otago.

At last

May 4, 2013

It hasn’t been an easy season for Highlanders’ fans but at last they’ve won a game:

Highlanders 25 – Sharks 22.


Hugs vs haka

September 29, 2012

A former Puma player is urging the team’s supporters to take part in a group hug when the All Blacks do the haka tomorrow.

Un ex Puma cantará el himno, se promueve un abrazo para contrarrestar el Haka y habrá camisetas para alentar valores. Propuestas solidarias en el gran duelo del sábado. . . 

“En el Estadio Unico, va a pasar algo único”, dicen. Ese es precisamente el lema de “Abrazo de Puma”, una iniciativa que tiene como objetivo alentar al equipo argentino en la previa al trascendental choque con los All Blacks, en el que intentarán obtener un triunfo histórico ya que nunca le pudieron ganar en los 19 tests matches disputados desde el primer enfrentamiento en 1976. . . .

La idea que apuntala a esta novedosa propuesta es abrazarse “con el de al lado”, replicando en las tribunas lo que harán los jugadores argentinos en el centro de la cancha, en el preciso momento en que los rugbiers neocelandeses -liderados por el medio scrum Piri Weepu- inicien con su cuerpo los movimientos intimidatorios para dar significado y fuerza a la tradicional ceremonia y danza tribal que representa el Haka, una expresión cabal de la pasión, el vigor y la identidad de la raza Maorí. . .

This (loosely) translates as:

A former Puma is promoting a hug to counter the haka as a proposal for solidarity in Saturday’s big match. . .

“In the United State something unique will happen,” they say. That’s the idea of “Puma Embrace”, an initiative which aims to encourage the Argentine team in the pre-mtach of the momentous clash with the All Blacks, in which which they try to get an historic triumph as they have never been able to win in the 19 tests matches played since the first meeting in 1976. . . .

The idea that underpins this new proposal is to embrace “the one beside”, replicating in the stands what the Argentine players will be doing in the centre of the field, at the precise moment when the rugby players-led by New Zealand scrum half Piri Weepu starts his body movements and intimidating strength to give significance and strength to the traditional ceremony and tribal dance representing the Haka, an expression full of passion, vigour and identity of the Maori race. . .

A haka versus a group hug – that will be an interesting match.

You can see more at Abrazo de Puma.

Would asking for three wins be greedy?

October 2, 2011

I’ve never watched a rugby league game and know very little about the sport.

But I admire the enthusiasm of the Warrior’s fans and have been enjoying the excitement as they contemplate tonight’s NRL final against Manly’s Sea Eagles.

I wish the Warriors well for the game and hope they win.

However, if the sporting gods decide we can’t have both the league trophy and the Rugby World Cup, there’s no doubt in my mind which would be better.

Tonight’s NRL final is a big game and a win would be wonderful, but there’ll be another final next year.

This evening’s All Black match against Canada is no match for the NRL final, but the one or ones which follow will be more important because there won’t be another World Cup for four years.

That said, the Silver Ferns play England in a netball test tomorrow and Thursday and have three tests against Australia later in the month.

Would asking for all three teams to win be greedy?


With so much expertise involved with high level sport, should we sorry that ultra fit sportsmen damage themselves in training?


September 24, 2011

Why do I bother when I know I know nothing about rugby history? Just 3/10 in the Herald’s All Black-France rugby quiz. All were guesses.

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