Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Back to mediocrity

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  • Richard Grevers, in reply to Robert Fox,

    Bob was up in the stand near halfway posting photos on facebook. As did fully half of my Christchurch FB friends.

    New Plymouth • Since Jul 2011 • 134 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Jono Baddiley,

    Interesting. My Nexus One has 802.11 a/b/g, but I'm not sure how it picks which to connect on.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    Oh, and how unfit is Weepu? He’s never great early in the season but jeez, he spent most of the game waddling around the field trying to catch up with the forwards.

    It was almost comical.

    Ali Williams wasn't quite as much of a passenger as he has been, but that's not saying much.

    The only bright spot was Woodcock returning in excellent form.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • Allan Moyle,

    For a country that supposedly has Rugby as its "national" game we have been poorly served by new or updated stadia in our key population centres such as Eden Park, Wellington, Old AMI. Waikato Stadium is one place I enjoy because it is a stadium built around a rectangle (no!) with no silly arcs or curves to supposedly to accommodate cricket. My nosey peek into the new Dunedin Stadium looks like it'll be a good rugby watching ground too, although it does still look temporary in many places.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 91 posts Report Reply

  • Toby, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Awful beer was awful Speights rather than awful Tui, I think

    pt chev • Since Mar 2011 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Toby,

    Awful beer was awful Speights rather than awful Tui, I think

    True.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Those of us who remember rugby at Athletic Park recall the (Note - half empty) beer can thrown from the top deck of the Millard Stand that unfortunately landed on the conk of a poor unsuspecting spectator on the lower level. He suffered quite extensive brain damage. The can was thrown by a medical professional if I recall correctly.

    So yes, I don't think I was the only one who was concerned about cans at the RWC. But then.....someone was offering (and someone was accepting) big bikkies to let them go obviously.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1497 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But I've been going to watch rugby at Eden Park for a long time, and I just find it bizarre that the basics -- a scoreboard and clock and competent ground announcing -- aren't regarded as necessary any more

    Even Athletic Park had that much ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2161 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    awful Speights rather than awful Tui

    I think they come out of the same vat.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Allan Moyle,

    My nosey peek into the new Dunedin Stadium looks like it'll be a good rugby watching ground too, although it does still look temporary in many places.

    At this point Dunedin's fu-bar stadium seems to be uneconomical even if one assumes that a magic fairy is paying the $200m to build it and the $10m a year in interest (for 40 years) year to pay it off.

    After this past month's ORFU financing debacle (just one of many, we seem to throw millions at them every few years) it turns out that the quango that built it (consisting largely of current or ex ORFU/Highlanders board members) neglected to contract any of the local rugby teams to actually use it. Family members got great prices for the land though.

    Now with the ORFU unable to pay enough to rent it to cover just day to day costs, the next step is going to be year on year multi-million dollar stadium losses backed by the rate payers - we'll see how long it takes before it gets mothballed - people are already calling for that - pretty soon Otago rugby, hoist by its own petard will have no where to play.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2174 posts Report Reply

  • raoulduke,

    My experience of some great stadiums = beer is always crap, food worse than 3am servo hotdog. Eden Park has going for it (in my limited recent experience) simple ingress egress, no loud music at every pause in the game (hello rugby at the MCG).

    Now all we need is a 2.30 Saturday kick off and we will be happy.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2011 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    After this past month’s ORFU financing debacle (just one of many, we seem to throw millions at them every few years) it turns out that the quango that built it (consisting largely of current or ex ORFU/Highlanders board members) neglected to contract any of the local rugby teams to actually use it. Family members got great prices for the land though.

    I'd heard rumours of that...as someone who is a joint owner of 3 Otago properties (with several other family members) it gives me no joy to think that the nephews & nieces, grand nephews & grand-neices could be paying increeased rates on them for decades yet.

    FU/ORFUet al-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    As a hardened, and indeed, long-suffering Otago supporter, I'm really angry at how badly the ORFU has messed things up, and forced everyone else to carry the can while they struggle to pay off the creditors. And the DCC not signing a contract stipulating a minimum number of matches per year until after the ORFU went tits-up was seriously stupid in such a way that you've got to question the competence of some involved.

    However, the stadium itself is a magnificent thing. Look, I have more than a decade's worth of memories of standing on the Carisbrook terraces (ironically, most of them with my dad when still a teenager--by the time I became a Uni student, my attendances at Carisbrook were far less frequent) watching Otago, the Highlanders or the All Blacks play. But near the end of its lifespan, the ground had become as depressing as the Otago Rugby team- a decaying wind tunnell.

    In contrast, the "Glass House" looks fantastic from the outside, houses just the right capacity for rugby, and is an absolute barnstormer when packed (the noise that 26,000 made during the Ireland vs Italy match was insane). Location-wise, it couldn't be better placed, either. It helps that the Highlanders have been in winning form for the first time in years- and even against the Brumbies, they were competitive- but I'm pleased the city has it. Even if I share many of the concerns about the financial health of it, and am a bit sad it's not really purpose built for anything but rugby-although there is the University Oval nearby, which is fast becoming a lovely ground, if dangerously susceptible to weather.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    the "Glass House"

    Was the envy of the Nation during the RWC - how sad is it for Colin Slade - wince - it hurts me to think about it.

    The Blues have lost two games by one point - they will rebound - perhaps next season.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to DexterX,

    Was the envy of the Nation during the RWC - how sad is it for Colin Slade - wince - it hurts me to think about it.

    Yeah, the guy's had a horrible run of luck over the last two years. It's a shame, because I think we'll never know now whether he was truly good enough to translate his excellent play at Super 15 at international level- nearly every time he played for the All Blacks, he looked nervous and hesitant, as if he was worried he might not get another run.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    The Chiefs are giving us hope this year and it is not all due to SWB.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2317 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    As a long-suffering Canes fan who's now 2 from 2 for wins whilst watching them play at Eden Park... watching Mr Smith dot down with 15 seconds left was priceless.

    Though I didn't pay this time as I was in the press box, and naturally enough tried not to show my total happiness too.

    And where, BTW, the Blues provided delicious finger food and free (non-alcoholic) drinks. Too bad someone can't sort out something similar food-wise for the punters (and alcoholic drinks-wise)...

    Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    In contrast, the "Glass House" looks fantastic from the outside, houses just the right capacity for rugby, and is an absolute barnstormer when packed (the noise that 26,000 made during the Ireland vs Italy match was insane). Location-wise, it couldn't be better placed, either. It helps that the Highlanders have been in winning form for the first time in years- and even against the Brumbies, they were competitive- but I'm pleased the city has it. Even if I share many of the concerns about the financial health of it, and am a bit sad it's not really purpose built for anything but rugby-although there is the University Oval nearby, which is fast becoming a lovely ground, if dangerously susceptible to weather.

    30,000, the claimed full house, is a bit unreasonable though (but required if you're going to check the 'cat A' rugby check box), Dunedin only has a population of 120,000 - expecting 1 in 4 of us to attend every thing that happens there was someone's wet dream, someone who wasn't really thinking ahead, or about the financing.

    Worse than that, someone ran the numbers recently and calculated that they have to fill the stadium with an event every week if they ever want it to break even. Have you been this week?

    Of course it was billed as a "multipurpose" stadium, "not just for rugby" they claimed - until they actually had a big concert there, the same acoustics that bounce the sound around and make it such a great atmosphere for rugby are sucky echoes for music, they've been unable to book a single act since.

    As far as location, it should have gone on top of Forbury race course, it would have been a cheaper site and would have left space near the Uni for expansion - but then no one's families would have made money on the deal.

    BTW Ron Hamlin's latest blog explains why the latest ORFU bailout didn't do much other than shovel more money down the crapper.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2174 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    BTW Ron Hamlin’s latest blog explains why the latest ORFU bailout didn’t do much other than shovel more money down the crapper.

    Gah!
    Striding from financial disaster into permanant everlasting debt-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Islander,

    Striding from financial disaster into permanent everlasting debt-

    With a little help from an ex-cop real estate salesman apparently.

    A well known ex-detective and real estate salesman in Queenstown has appeared in court charged with defrauding the town's high profile annual rugby sevens tournament...
    ...Its organising committee is non profit with proceeds going back to the cash-strapped Otago rugby union.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4876 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Shit o dear - you really couldnt write fiction about all this crap eh?
    It would be thrown out on the grounds of being totally unrealistic and - well, fiction...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Islander,

    Striding from financial disaster into permanant everlasting debt-

    I don't know about permanent, but with the city's current plan to push out paying off the stadium to 40 years it's at least being visited upon the third generation - this in a city that's avoided replacing its aging sewers for far too long and expects a $0.5b infrastructure bill over the next 50 years - it's all beer and circuses for us

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2174 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D, in reply to Russell Brown,

    on Friday all I could find was Speights and light Steinies, no Tui

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    again, on Friday all the beers were in plastic bottles, and of the several I consumed not once was I made to pour it into a plastic cup

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Naly D,

    on Friday all I could find was Speights and light Steinies, no Tui

    Yeah, it was Speights. I kinda blanked out on the details. But it is particularly awful beer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

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