Tonga played well, the All Blacks played better and Ma’a Nonu earned his cap for playing his 100th test.
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.
CPW shocked by ECan’s mistakes on nitrate loads – Tim Fulton:
Environment Canterbury (ECan) has admitted critical mistakes in calculating the nitrate loads for newly irrigated land in the Central Plains Water scheme.
Central Plains Water (CPW) has been stunned by a recommendation to halve its nitrate allowance under a land and water plan for the Selwyn-Waihora catchment.
The allocation was adjusted three times as CPW sought commitment from farmers to its scheme. Even though irrigators had been advised the calculations were subject to change, the nitrate allocation has bounced from 520 tonnes to 850t and back to 434t. . . .
The Heilala Vanilla story – Caitlin Sykes:
John Ross got a whole lot more than he was expecting for his 60th birthday.
A retired dairy farmer, Ross’ birthday wish was to sail to Tonga on a boat he’d built himself, have a family holiday and indulge his passion for spearfishing.
But he fell in love with the place. So much so that when a cyclone ravaged the Vava’u island group the year after he’d stayed there, Ross rallied a group of Rotary club friends to travel back to Tonga to help with the clean-up.
In thanks, a local family gifted him a plot of land, in exchange for him using it to provide employment for those living there.
The gift sent Ross on a journey of discovery, travelling around the globe to learn all he could about vanilla – a crop that only grows naturally 20 degrees either side of the equator and is perfectly suited to growing conditions in Tonga. . . .
Preparing a winner beats milking cows – Mike Dillon:
John Morell is one of a rapidly dying breed – rural owners who train their own racehorse from a farm.
Not only is that a rare group these days but farming owners who send their horses to professional trainers to be prepared are also becoming as rare as Len Brown supporters.
When Hall of Fame champion trainer Dave O’Sullivan was a year or so from putting his feet up he declared he had just one horse in his stable who was owned by a farmer.
“A few years ago half my team was owned by farmers,” he declared at the time. . .
Countdown to the NZ Product Wars – Bruce Wills:
What Shane Jones told Parliament regarding Countdown will probably not be news to thousands of current and former Australian dairy farmers. You see they’re the ones who have footed the real cost of Australia’s A$1 a litre supermarket milk war.
Last May, the head of Coles warned its suppliers Australians were paying too much for groceries at the same time a A$1.5 billion full-year profit was announced. Several months later Woolworths, its arch rival, revealed a A$2.3 billion net profit. Combined, the two groups were making a net profit of A$7,229 every minute. I do not begrudge successful businesses given many pension funds rely upon success like this. What I do begrudge is if high profits come from breaking smaller businesses through predatory, anti-competitive practices. Something I see in the Australian dairy industry.
If the 2011 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation into the supermarket milk war is anything to go by, it may leave some people on this side of the Tasman feeling deflated with our Commerce Commission about to look into things. . .
McNee to ring changes at LIC – Andrea Fox:
Big job changes and expansion are planned at LIC as Wayne McNee, the new chief executive of the genetics and information heavyweight, starts flexing his muscle.
McNee, formerly chief executive of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), is proposing structural change that could affect 56 jobs – many of them executive positions – and create 17 new roles.
His plan is expand LIC in the South Island, target international markets and focus the business on farmer needs for the future, instead of head office decisions. . .
$15 billion bonanza – Hugh Stringleman:
Record dairy prices and milk payout forecasts have a strong tail wind, which should carry them through the rest of the season.
Competing countries have their own weather woes and are unable to increase supply in response to the favourable worldwide demand.
Most New Zealand dairy farmers are seeing a double benefit – more production and the record prices– although some are contemplating a premature end to milking because of drought. . . .
Good turn-out at field days – Hugh Stringleman:
Northland Field Days filled all exhibitor spaces for the first time on its new home site as the regional economy recovers strongly.
Early last week Northland was reported by ANZ Bank to have the best economic activity numbers among 14 regions nationwide.
The activity index was up 2.4% in the fourth quarter of last year, following a similar-sized rise in the third quarter.
The six-monthly surge was the biggest since 2004. . . .
The Heilala Vanilla story
‘Big event’ could affect future of Otago farming – Sally Rae:
Farming is not going to get any easier as farmers meet the expectations of ”everybody outside of farming”, Federated Farmers Otago president Stephen Korteweg says.
The pressure on farmers to meet environmental expectations would be challenging.
”We are all going to have to lift our game and obviously some considerably more than others,” Mr Korteweg said in his annual report. The branch held its annual meeting in Milton yesterday. The ”big event” this year was the proposed changes to the Otago Regional Council’s water plan. Those changes could have a big impact on how farmers worked in the future. . . .
Synlait Milk is pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Roest as a non-executive director. Mr Roest recently retired as Chief Financial Officer of one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies, Fletcher Building Ltd.
Synlait Milk chairman Graeme Milne says Mr Roest will bring a wealth of experience to the Synlait board.
“Bill’s governance skills and deep understanding of international business will add further depth to the board of Synlait Milk as the Company pursues its vision to be a trusted supplier of choice to some of the world’s best milk-based health and nutrition companies.” . . .
Having met with Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) in recent weeks, Federated Farmers is happy with the briefing it has received from LIC on the isolation of a gene responsible for small dairy cows.
“This recessive gene means calves are born a normal size but simply do not grow,” says Chris Lewis, Federated Farmers Waikato Dairy chairperson.
“The gene has always been present in New Zealand breeding sires, so what LIC has done in isolating the gene is a breakthrough. As is the fact Federated Farmers and LIC sat down together to discuss things openly and honestly. . .
A one-day conference in Rotorua this Thursday (16 May), supported by Federated Farmers, will take land owners through the economics of bioenergy, which could become a big part of New Zealand’s energy future.
“The biofuels versus food issue is not relevant to New Zealand. We are looking at biofuels, plus food. This can be a win-win for farmers,” explains Anders Crofoot, Federated Farmers energy spokesperson.
“It is not about replacing sheep and cattle with biomass crops, but about growing these crops while also harnessing the organic waste of our sheep and cattle, or our wood harvest waste. . .
The 12 finalists in the 2013 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competition will meet in Canterbury next week to take part in a study tour around the region.
Aged from 23 years to 28 years, the study tour is designed to increase the trainee’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the dairy industry and demonstrate what opportunities are available as they progress.
The 2013 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards will announce winners of the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year as well as the trainee contest in Wellington on May 24. More than $150,000 in prizes will be given away. . .
Yealands Estate Wines has been awarded three gold medals, amongst a field of more than 12,000 wines, at the 2013 International Wine Challenge.
The judges awarded gold to Yealands Estate Single Block Series R3 Pinot Noir 2011, Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Grüner Veltliner 2012 and Yealands Estate Single Block Series S1 Sauvignon Blanc 2012. The Yealands Estate Single Block Series S1 Sauvignon Blanc 2011 last year received the International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy. . .
Queen Fine Foods, New Zealand’s largest distributor of vanilla products used widely in Kiwi homes, has entered into a partnership with the people of Tonga to reinvigorate their vanilla industry.
The Queen Fine Foods initiative works with growers to develop sustainable and organic farming practices. It teaches farmers not only how to grow high quality beans, but to cure their crop and add value. Growers who join the partnership receive a long term supply agreement with Queen, which guarantees certainty of income for years to come. . .
Last night’s upset win by Tonga against the French was a good upset.
Unless you happen to be French or a Francophile.
Scotland’s loss to England after a good start will have upset some.
Unless you’re one of those who weren’t hoping that Sctoland would go against the odds, win with a bonus point and so progress ot the quarter finals.
The Wallabies 68 -22 win over Russia wasn’t an upset but what’s described as a tournament-threatening injury to wing Drew Mitchell, on top of serious injuries to other players could be upsetting.
Unless you’re one of those who’s not wanting Australia to do very well.
This afternoon it looked like Georgia might upset Argentina until Los Pumas took charge of the game which ensures them a spot in the quarter finals.
That would have upset Argentina’s supporters but pelased the Scots who would then have secured a place in the next round.
Like Adam Smith I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s heartbreaking that Dan Carter is out of the Rugby World Cup altogether though I acknowledge that will be upsetting to many.
Although not those in or supporting one of the teams hoping to beat the All Blacks.
But let’s keep it in perspective, a team is made up of 15 players plus reserves. They will all be doing their best to ensure there’s no upsets for them and their supporters, especially in today’s match against Canada.
This afternoon I’m backing Fiji against Wales and will take the underdog in the match between Ireland and Italy.
A friend was on a flight which landed in Dunedin shortly before the plane carrying the Pumas touched down last Thursday.
They were greeted by a large crowd and she said the excitement was infectious.
It wasn’t, however, a patch on the enthusiastic welcome the Tongan Rugby World Cup team got from their supporters in Auckland yesterday.
Keeping Stock has the video and I defy you to watch it without being moved.
The team is one of the underdogs but however they perform on the field, it will be difficult to beat the Tongan fans who’ve shown us all how to get into the spirit of the occasion.
On January 21:
1525 – The Swiss Anabaptist Movement is born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptize each other in the home of Manz’s mother in Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union.
Fragment of “Portrait of Abel Tasman, his wife and daughter” attributed to Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp,
1749 – The Verona Philharmonic Theatre was destroyed by fire.
1789 The first American novel, The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth, was printed in Boston, Massachusetts.
1824 Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, American, Confederate army general was born.
1864 – The Tauranga Campaign started during the New Zealand Land Wars.
1887 – Brisbane received a daily rainfall of 465 millimetres (18.3 inches), a record for any Australian capital city.
1899 – Opel manufactured its first automobile.
1905 Christian Dior, French fashion designer, was born.
1908 – New York City passed the Sullivan Ordinance, making it illegal for women to smoke in public, but the measure was vetoed by the mayor.
1911 – The first Monte Carlo Rally.
1915 – Kiwanis International was founded in Detroit, Michigan.
1919 – Meeting of the First Dáil Éireann in the Mansion House Dublin. Sinn Féin adopted Ireland’s first constitution. The first engagement of Irish War of Independence, Sologhead Beg, County Tipperary.
1921 The Italian Communist Party was founded at Livorno.
1924 Benny Hill, English actor, comedian, and singer, was born.
1925 Albania declared itself a republic.
1938 Wolfman Jack, American disk jockey and actor, was born.
1940 Jack Nicklaus, American golfer, was born.
1941 Plácido Domingo, Spanish tenor, was born.
1942, Mac Davis, American musician, was born.
1944 New Zealand & Australia signed the Canberra Pact, which was an undertaking by both countries to co-operate on international matters, especially in the Pacific.
1950 Billy Ocean, West Indian musician, was born.
1953 Paul Allen, American entrepreneur, co-founder of Microsoft, was born.
1968 Battle of Khe Sanh – One of the most publicised and controversial battles of the Vietnam War began.
1974 Rove McManus, Australian television host and comedian, was born.
1976 – Commercial service of Concorde began with London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes.
1977 – President Jimmy Carter pardoned nearly all American Vietnam War draft evaders.
1981 – Tehran released United States hostages after 444 days.
2002 – The Canadian Dollar set all-time low against the US Dollar (US$0.6179).
2008 – Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 11 September 2001, and Asian stocks dropped as much as 15%.
Sourced from NZ hisotry Online & Wikipedia.
New Zealand is giving Samoa and Tonga an initial $1 million for immediate disaster relief.
Acting Prime Minister Bill English says that is only a start.
“We recognise it is just the beginning of a long haul through the immediate emergency and into recovery and rebuilding,” he said last night.
The death toll has risen to around 150 in Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga, with three New Zealanders among the total. Hundreds are unaccounted for, some washed out to sea. Entire villages were flattened on the south coast of the Samoan main island of Upolu.
When reading large numbers like that, it is difficult to take in the personal impact on the individual people who are left to cope with losing family, friends and homes.
New Zealand is already helping with the immediate needs among which is medical assistance. Health Minister Tony Ryall said the health sector is mobilising to support requests for orthopaedic surgeons, general surgeons, theatre nurses, anaesthetists and post-operative staff.
After the initial response there will be the need for on-going assistance to help these small, not very wealthy countries with the huge task ahead of them in rebuilding villages and the economy.
While our eyes are on our near neighbours, a bit further north and west, the death toll after the earthquake in Indonesia is 777 and expected to rise.
New Zealand aid agencies are accepting donations to help them help. You can donate to Red Cross here.