All equal?

November 3, 2019

The All Blacks played their best in the quarter finals.

England played best in the semis.

South Africa saved their best for the final and now hold the Rugby World Cup for the third time.

But, since the All Blacks beat the Sprinboks, England beat beat the All Blacks and the Sprinboks beat England, are we all equal at the top?


Game by game

September 20, 2015

The All Blacks’ World Cup campaign begins tomorrow morning (NZ time) with a match against the Pumas.

Our team is number one in the world and among the favourites to win the Cup but championships have to be taken game by game.

The Highlanders’ win over the Hurricanes in this year’s Super Rugby final is a recent reminder that an underdog can beat a favourite and this mornings Pool B match reinforced that.

Who would have thought that Japan’s Cherry Blossoms would beat South Africa’s Springboks  at all, let alone 34 – 32? Georgia’s 17 – 10 win against Tonga was also a surprise.

And wasn’t it an unexpected win by Argentina against the French hosts in a previous Cup opener which led to the French meeting, and beating, the All Blacks in the quarter-final?

All my fingers and toes are crossed for the All Blacks because in spite of all they’ve done to prepare, their fitness, tactics and skill, luck will play a part in which team makes it to the final and which wins the Cup.


The roof was the winner on the night

September 16, 2012

The economists tell us that stadiums (stadia?) don’t stack up financially.

The Forsyth Barr Stadium has plenty of critics who will feel vindicated by that but I doubt if anyone among the capacity crowd at the All Blacks’ first test there cared about that and the roof was the winner on the night.

The forecast was for wintry conditions. I was drizzling as we arrived for the match against the Springbok, but with a covered stadium, once we were inside it didn’t matter.

Only in Dunedin would pre-match entertainment include blokes in tutus – the Selwyn Ballet – and I am sure they too appreciated being under cover.

We were at the game as guests of Ravensdown which brought the bonus of pre-match banter from former All Blacks Buck Shelford, John Timu and Josh Kronfeld. Then there was after-match excitement when we were joined by Olympic rowers Mahe Drysdale and Juliette Haigh.

As for the rugby? A win’s a win but there were plenty of times when it looked like the 21 – 11 score in New Zealand’s favour could just have easily gone the other way.

At the final whistle it was the All Blacks ahead and the winners of the Freedom Cup.


Air NZ looking to South America

February 27, 2012

Air New Zealand is trialling flights to South America with a charter flight for fans going to the first four nations Rugby Championship match between the All Blacks and Pumas in Argentina.

Radio NZ reports the company is watching developments in the region before scheduling regular flights.

. . . But the airline did announce its first foray into South America, with a flight in September using its black Boeing 777-300.

The charter flight will be aimed at All Blacks fans travelling to Buenos Aires for the team’s first game against Argentina in the expanded Four Nations competition.

Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe says the airline is very interested in South America as a potential route in its global network.

He says the company hasn’t yet made a decision about its overall strategy for South America.

Mr Fyfe says the Brazilian airline TAM is about to go through a merger with Chile’s LAN and Air New Zealand wants to see which alliance the new airline LATAM ends up in before finalising its preferred strategy.

When we went to Argentina a couple of weeks ago there were no Star Alliance airlines flying to South America.

The options were a direct flight from Auckland to Buenos Aires with Aerolineas Argentina, Lan Chile which goes Auckland-Santiago-Buenos Aires, Qantas which would have necessitated flying east to Sydney before flying west or Emerites which is the long way round and required a two-day stop in Dubai en-route.

The Aerolineas flight is 11 1/2 hours there and 13 home which isn’t too bad but an Air New Zealand flight or a Star Alliance option would be even better.

Football is the most popular sport in Argentina but we met some rugby fans when we were there who were pleased the Pumas were joining the All Blacks, Springboks and Wallabies in the Rugby Championship.


Vamos Argentina pero . . .

October 9, 2011

If Argentina was playing any other team than the All Blacks I’d be backing Los Pumas.

Since they are playing New Zealand I’m saying vamos Argentina pero no demasiado bien  – play well Argentina, but not too well.

I’m conflicted with the other quarter-final game.

I want the winner to be whichever team the All Blacks are most likely to defeat should we get through to the next round and I’d like that to be Australia. But my farmer who knows far more about rugby than I do and who was in Brisbane to for the last Tri-Nations game when the Wallabies beat the All Blacks, reckons South Africa might be an easier semi-final opponent.

We were at a 21st birthday party last night but what from what I saw of the two games,  Wales deserved its 22-10 victory over Ireland and the French earned their semi-fianl spot by beating England 19 -12.

 


Let’s be nice to our neighbours

September 23, 2011

The slogan goes: I support New Zealand and anyone who plays Australia.

It should be I support Australia unless they’re playing New Zealand.

Paul Henry asked on Radio Live yesterday afternoon, who we’d rather have living next door? I agreed with him I couldn’t think of anyone better than the Aussies.

They’re not just our neighbours, friends and allies; they’re good neighbours, friends and allies.

Unfortunately there are morons on both sides of the Tasman who take what should be the sort of friendly rivalry you get between siblings far too far and get stupid.

Some of them are on television. I just saw someone interviewing one of the USA team and saying, don’t worry you’ll have all of New Zealand backing the Eagles because we don’t want the Wallabies to win.

He’s not speaking for me. I like the USA and have good friends there but tonight I’m backing Australia.

In other news – no surprises last night in the Springboks’ 87 – 0 win against Namibia.

 


Brave Blossoms yesterday, backing blue today

September 17, 2011

Headline of the day: Brave Blossoms no match for All Blacks.

Is this the first time in the history of the English language that that adjective and noun have been used together?

There was no surprise in the All Blacks win last night, but Japan deserves credit for improvement and it’s a good sign for rugby that the game  didn’t end up with a cricket score.

Today I’m backing blue again taking the Pumas in their game against Romania.

It’s a bit harder to choose between the Wallaibes and Ireland but I’ll go for our southern neighbours as I usually do unless they’re playing us.

I’m sticking with neighbours in the other game too, backing Fiji against the Springboks.

 


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