Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Winning the RWC: it's complicated

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'd go so far as to say that at this point, it seems like everyone except the French support the All Blacks.

    The odd English rugby journalist -- and the people who comment under the reports -- still seem a bit bitter on us.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Oh yes, in my case some natural ability ( genetic, one cousin an ex-AB and a relation in the present team) but no real interest in sport
    So have the talent but not the desire
    And I know plenty on the other side of the equation who have the desire but not the talent, got to feel sorry for them

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 545 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to izogi,

    I really just meant to allude to how invested New Zealand is in this one sport.

    My son commented after we listened to the radio news the other day, "Things are a bit screwy when they talk twice as long about a possible foot injury of a player, than a plane crash that killed 28 people". Very astute of him, I thought.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 427 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Samuel Scott,

    Sorry, huge comment.

    meh only medium sized, Ben and I do HUGE.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3434 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    dubstep version

    Really should learn what dubstep actually is

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3434 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The odd English rugby journalist -- and the people who comment under the reports -- still seem a bit bitter on us.

    I guess they have cause to be bitter. They have to go back to winter, licking the wound of their pathetic semifinal. If France beats us, then at least they can say they were knocked out by the tournament winner. Of course if we drub France, then that puts paid to the entire continent of Europe, represented entirely by their side of the elimination round (thanks to Ireland), which should have been a soft gift through to the final for England.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    And I know plenty on the other side of the equation who have the desire but not the talent, got to feel sorry for them

    Nah. Playing rugby was one area where I had to work hard just to be okay at it. As a kid who found most other things at school relatively easy, that was character-building.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    I watched the game in with some psychologist mates in a RSA . We’re all students of body language and had our own competition predicting the success of a kick by reading the body language of the kicker. It was scarily accurate – seeing if he was “in the zone” or not. Piri’s eyes kind of glaze over slightly, he has a very slight smile just before he kicks and does this deep looking down at the ball thing before moving .

    It may be a brutally physical game in the whole but parts of it require an intuitive intensity that approaches art.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 507 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    I guess they have cause to be bitter. They have to go back to winter, licking the wound of their pathetic semifinal.

    Probably shouldn't have treated the whole thing as an extended stag do for Mike Tindall, then. Dicks.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to 3410,

    that half the country didn’t even watch last night’s match

    Your point of course being that half the country did

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3434 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Probably shouldn’t have treated the whole thing as an extended stag do for Mike Tindall, then. Dicks.

    Yeah, the English had a Dick Incident. But I’ve never been able to work out what it was Mike Tindall did (besides marry a royal) that’s caused so much fuss.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Position?
    (and no, that's not an opening for Emma. nor was that)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    that half the country didn’t even watch last night’s match

    You point of course being that half the country did

    And that actually being a record audience, ever, for a telecast event in NZ.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Richard Aston,

    parts of it require an intuitive intensity that approaches art

    The flow you feel when playing well is the same as most creative processes.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I don't really think Mike Tindall did anything. It was more that the entire team appear to have treated the tournament and the trip here as a big rolling piss-up, with actually playing rugby a distant second. Fine for a provincial club on tour. Not such a great look for a supposedly top-level national team. If you don't 'want' it badly enough, don't bother turning up.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Nah. Playing rugby was one area where I had to work hard just to be okay at it. As a kid who found most other things at school relatively easy, that was character-building.

    For sure. Practically everyone can drastically increase their physical abilities, but it takes a lot of work. As a kid, everyone thought my brother would be the athlete, and I the scholar. But keep turning up to training and games for 5 years and it's pretty amazing what happens to your body.

    I think sport lets us down in middle age, though, it's much less useful for health when you can't recover from injuries, and when hard training makes you feel tired for several days afterwards, and you have responsibilities which make the time commitment too onerous.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Sacha,

    The flow you feel when playing well is the same as most creative processes.

    Ah, grasshopper. Lose all distractions of ego, analysis and self-referring thought, immerse yourself and become the activity. Let the purity of your action be unsullied by conscious thought.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    lots of projects have have come in to meet the deadline posed by the tournament itself. I'm fascinated by it all.

    Yep, and so it would seem with our Council CEO

    "After the Rugby World Cup I'll turn my mind to it seriously. But right now I am just too busy to even think."

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6341 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I was resisting the game on Sunday. I was holed up in a computer lab in the University of Auckland's city campus, focused and trying to finish something. And then, at 5 minutes to 9, I realised that following Hadyn Green's tweets was not going to do it. I wandered through Albert Park, which was filled with drunk teenagers*, and made my way down to Vulcan Lane.

    The emotion was intense, and I had never felt so emotionally invested in a game, lest of all one I had no intention of watching 20 minutes earlier. I do like rugby, but the hype that surrounds it makes me feel cold. The game was superlative, the most intense play I've seen from the All Blacks in a very long time. They wanted it as much as anyone can want anything in sports, and while they let up for a short while after their initial burst, they recomposed and put their entirety into it again. You could see the fans reflecting that. I felt for the one Australian, who got two hours of gentle ribbing. I've been there, having been in his situation for most of the last four years. Queen St was incredible afterwards. A roar of emotion flooding down the street. It will be hard to top that.

    Actually, a question: what else were they going to do for 90 or so minutes? Our arrangements are hardly youth friendly, alcohol free Mangere Fan Zone aside.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Yesterday the plumber at work and I were talking ... about Rugby.

    He asked "if I was a Rugby man?" and I had to stop and think. Because I have played precisely two games of Rugby in my life (lunchtime at intermediate school, swore off when a friend broke his leg and the other players laughed) I can't say I'm a player at all.

    And I've certainly had periods when watching Rugby has been unenjoyable.

    The game is also a bit messed up by rules and "the IRB".

    But at this time, yes, I am "a rugby man". We have watched most of the games, some with friends at our place or theirs, some just the two of us and bemused cats. We have shouted at the big screen and cringed at the injuries. And we've hung bunting and even flags (an NZ flag is on a pole at our house!). We have planned for our friends to come over on Sunday and we will enjoy ourselves.

    Part of it is really the occasion. It really has captured the imagination of many many people ... we live in Mt Roskill and we have lots of Tongan and Samoan and Fijian flags being driven around our neighbourhood .. and those people are damn well enjoying the cup and it's infectious.

    But for me part of it is seeing really talented athletes perform with skill and even grace. Yes it's a bit brutal at times but for the most part this All Black team seems to play with a coordination and precision that is inspiring to behold. I get the same pleasure watching almost any athlete.

    But to be honest with this AB team there is something more involved something to do with those joyful Tongans, something to do with hearing a crowd of introverted kiwis scream at the top of their lungs, something to do with seeing Auckland try so very hard to entertain everyone.

    It's a complicated feeling but it's a good one.

    PS see that's a long post! :)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3434 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Weepu was playing with a virus which I did wonder at the 50 minute mark when they were lining him up to come off as he wasn't obviously injured. You saw he was crook when he came to the sideline and then he still went back on and slotted a crucial penalty. Came out the next day that he had the bot.

    Since Nov 2006 • 879 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Oh, and what's with the reflexivity of the Herald writers? I didn't watch the Wales - France game, but that tackle (as hosted for some time on YouTube, I'm sure it's down now) was entirely outside the law, and was very clearly within red card territory. Stoking the crowds against referees might be a fun sport, but it's ultimately unproductive, especially when it involves a tackle that could have killed someone. Intentionality has nothing to do with it; these tackles are banned and citable offenses in every football code, for good reason.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Really should learn what dubstep actually is

    It's the perfect music for boxing training. I think that's why bogans like it. Just connect the sounds like this (right handed version):

    Tictic <pause> tictic = slip left, pause, slip right
    Wubwubwubwub = pump body blows 4 times
    Screech = left hook
    Boom = straight right

    It works well because it emphasizes off-beats, which are extremely useful in fighting arts - fool opponent by setting up a rhythm, and then catch them moving to it with a blow that comes half a beat early or late.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Oh, and to echo Bart, a special thanks to the Tongan, Samoan, and Fijian communities, and the people of Mangere and Otahuhu, who taught New Zealand that rugby was a sport to be enjoyed. My neighbourhood still has flags everywhere (in lesser preponderance, but still), and the joy hasn't dissipated.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    It works well because it emphasizes off-beats, which are extremely useful in fighting arts – fool opponent by setting up a rhythm, and then catch them moving to it with a blow that comes half a beat early or late.

    Yes, tension and release. Often heightened by a sweet female vocal.

    There was an absolutely disgusting "remix" of Ka Mate recently. It fails on every level. I'm not going to post it. But despite that, I do think dubstep would make a good soundtrack to the not-so-beautiful game.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

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