Not so much the loss


It wasn’t so much the loss, as the way the All Blacks lost that made last night’s Rugby World Cup semi-final such a disappointment.

Last week the team was on fire against Ireland, last night they looked like they’d lost their spark.

My heart has been backing Wales to win this evening but I’d rather face them than South Africa in the Plate match for third so might have to go with my head.

In other news North Otago won the Meads Cup, and this afternoon the Silver Ferns will be doing their best to beat the Diamonds in the deciding match for the Constellation Cup.

NZ 52 – Aust 51


The Silver Ferns have won the Netball World Cup, beating the Australian Diamonds 52 – 51.

It’s New Zealand’s first World Cup title in 16 years and fifth overall; the last time they tasted glory was in Jamaica in 2003. . .


Rural round-up


Meat industry looks to tackle over-capacity:

The meat industry needs to keep looking for a solution to its processing over-capacity because it’s an issue that isn’t going to go away, the head of one of the country’s big four meat companies says.

ANZCO Foods has been exploring rationalisation options with the two big meat co-operatives, Silver Fern Farms and Alliance.

They have been focusing on solving the over-capacity issue, as having under-used processing plants erodes meat company profitability – a problem which is worsening due to the ongoing loss of sheep and beef production to dairy expansion.

The Government turned down a request for legislative backing to tackle over-capacity by introducing a tradeable processing rights system, because other companies were not supporting it. . .

More ‘foodies’ less producers

AUSTRALIA’S “foodie” culture might be booming but at the same time, there’s a growing shortfall of young people interested in producing our food.

That’s according to Dr Brian Jones, from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, who has helped design and will lecture in the university’s new Bachelor of Food and Agribusiness, starting in 2014.

“Exact figures on the employment shortfall are hard to calculate, but in agriculture alone, it has been shown that while there have been around 700 graduates per year Australia-wide in recent years, job advertisements suggest demand for approximately 4500 tertiary qualified graduates per annum,” Dr Jones said. . .

Wandering stock warnings:

THE NZ TRANSPORT Agency and Police are reminding rural property owners particularly in Canterbury to ensure their properties are adequately fenced to contain their livestock.

The reminder comes after a number of reports of wandering stock on state highway road reserve in Canterbury in recent weeks.

The Transport Agency’s highway manager Colin Knaggs says wandering stock poses a serious safety risk to all road users, not only on the state highway network but also local roads. . .

Five-stand shearing record bid – Abby Brown:

Today five shearers are taking on something that has been never attempted before – setting a five-stand, eight-hour lamb-shearing world record.

Odd-numbered stand sheds were uncommon, with most four or six stands, event organiser Emily Welch said.

The five shearers would aim to shear 2800-2900 sheep during the Cavalier Woolscourers record attempt, she said.

Sam Welch, Angus Moore, and Cole L’Huillier would aim to shear 600 or more sheep, while Richard Welch and Peter Totorewa would aim to shear 500-550.

The record attempt will take place at Cashmore Farms, between Clevedon and the Firth of Thames, near Auckland. . .

Prevention best protection for facial eczema risk:

While hot humid weather across the country has provided the perfect conditions for lush pasture cover this spring, farmers need to stay alert for an increased risk of facial eczema through summer.

Dairy and beef cattle, sheep, deer and goats are all susceptible to facial eczema which can damage the liver and cause inflammation of the bile ducts and an accumulation of certain compounds resulting in sensitivity to sunlight.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Animal Nutrition Product Manager, Jackie Aveling, says even before physical signs appear exposure to facial eczema can have a significant impact on animals particularly cows where it can result in an immediate drop in milk production. . .

PGW talks up farm sales:

LAND SALES should continue to rise through summer, says PGG Wrightson Real Estate.

After what it describes as an “auspicious spring”, PGW’s general manager real estate, Peter Newbold says farmers and their bankers are taking a lead from good weather and market outlooks.

“Climatic conditions this spring have been favourable over the whole country, setting up what should be an excellent growing season. Projected income for the agriculture sector also looks positive,” he notes. Newbold says some vendors have already capitalised on the competition for the limited number of farms for sale. . .

Constellation Cup 1 -1


The Silver Ferns were downed by the Diamonds tonight 45 – 48  to make it 1 -1 in the Constellation Cup.


Silver Ferns 50 – Diamonds 49


The Silver Ferns 50 – 49 win over the Australian Diamonds, earned them the Constellation Cup and their first series win in eight years.

The other test


There was another international sporting contest this weekend – and the New Zealand team won.

The Silver Ferns beat the Australian Diamonds 54 -52 in the opening game of netball’s Constellation Cup in Melbourne today.

The teams meet in Auckland on Thursday and play the final game in the series next Sunday in Christchurch.

Aussie women #1


How did I manage to overlook the build up to yesterday’s series decider between the Australian Diamonds and the Silver Ferns?

Did I not notice the interviews with players and coaches,  the commentary from experts, the media coverage of fans who were travelling to support the team or how they’d be gathering to watch at home, or wasn’t there much to notice?

For the record, the  Diamonds won  the game 44-41 in Melbourne last night.

This was their second win in three matches which gives them the Constellation Cup.

That, following the Diamonds’ World Championship win last year takes them to the number one ranking.

NZ wins first test


New Zealand has won the first of today’s tests – the Silver Ferns beat the Australian Diamonds 49 -48.

Please, All Blacks follow their example – though for the sake of the national blood pressure, it would better if it could be by a greater margin.

There is another game


There is another international game today.

It might not be in our town, but it is our team: the Silver Ferns are playing the Australian Diamonds in Perth.


Backing winner to lose later


The Silver Ferns beat England 53-32 in Invercargill last night.

The Black Sticks beat the Kookaburras 3-0 in Hobart.

Here’s hoping the All Blacks give us a third international win tomorrow (difficult as I find it to say that when they’ll be playing Argentina).

Tonight Ireland meets Wales in Wellington and England meets France in Auckland in the first two quarter final rugby World Cup games.

The winner of these matches play each other in next week’s semi-final and the winner of that will meet the strongest Southern Hemisphere team in the final.

I don’t have an emotional attachment to any of the four remaining Northern Hemisphere teams.

I’ll be backing a winner to lose when it gets to the final where all fingers and toes crossed they will . . .  no I can’t bring myself to write it in case it doesn’t happen.

Go Silver Ferns


The Silver Ferns have an extra incentive to play well in Invercargill in the second of their two tests against England this evening.

Tonight’s second test promises to be a momentous occasion, with long-serving New Zealand coach Ruth Aitken guiding the Silver Ferns in her final test on home soil. Aitken will step down from the position after 10 years at the helm after New Zealand’s three-game away series against Australia this month. . .

Silver Fern legend Irene van Dyk will also tick off a significant milestone when she becomes the first international netballer to play 200 tests. The 39-year-old began her career with South Africa in 1994 and has racked up 127 appearances in the black dress after switching allegiances in 2000.

Invercargill always supports netball well and the milestones int he careers of these two women who have done so much for netball will make the match even more special.

Go Silver Ferns.

In case no-one’s noticed . . .


The Silver Ferns won the first of two netball tests against England last night.

The score was 62 – 40.

Reports here and here.

In case no-one’s noticed . . .


. . . the Silver Ferns are playing England tonight in the first of two netball tests.

The second is in Invercargill on Thursday.


Would asking for three wins be greedy?


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?

Monday’s quiz


1.  It’s  lágrima in Spanish, lame in French, lacrima in Italian and roimata in Maori – what is it in English?

2. Who said: “We learn geology the morning after the earthquake”?

3. Whose horses were: Black Bess, Rosinante, Silver and Trigger?

4. Who are the captains of the Silver Ferns and the Black Ferns?

5. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the USA gives the right to what?

Black day, black night


Keeping Stock reckoned it was a black morning for very good reasons.

He was referring to the Talls Blacks’ wins over Lebanon and Canada at the FIBA World Basketball champs and the Black Ferns’ win over France which enabled them to qualify for their fourth consecutive World Cup berth.

Now it’s a black night for equally good reasons – the Silver Ferns have just beaten Australia in the second netball test to level the Constellation Cup series.

Silver Ferns wearing merino


The Silver Ferns new playing uniform is made from a merino/polyester mix.

Merino has many qualities which ought to be good for the players and the association with our leading women’s sports team should have benefits for merino.

That news however, came well down the story which is dedicated to introducing the All Blacks new white away-strip to the world and  is little more than an extended advertisement.

I can’t help but think the players of yore and their supporters would have been a lot more interested in how they played than what they wore.

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