Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Here and There

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  • John Farrell,

    Interesting comments attached to that article, merc.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    congrats on one thundy Merc

    And with no offence to Mssrs Baron and Jones
    (pulls fingers and blows raspberry)

    "do [Portugal] really want to play New Zealand"
    According to their coach they do, which (non-New Zealand) rugby player wouldn't?

    I wonder if the four "financial powerhouses" of rugby would do so well if the All Blacks decided to stop touring? There was some talk a while back that the All Blacks wanted some revenue sharing when they toured as the crowds tended to be bigger when they were playing.

    I also don't understnad the idea behind "if we don't let teams play at the highest level somehow they will get better". Just look at Bangladesh in the cricket. They aren't great but they have punched above their belt on many occaisions and have gotten much better of the last few years.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    Hey thanks for the linkage :) My thoughts -

    1. Re: Stu Wilson - I really enjoy watching RE:Union on Tuesday, but if Stu's on... ugh... It can be funny watching the sideways looks TJ, John Drake etc give him while he rambles on, though.

    2. The Australians will still be tough - they're smart, and their backline is one of the best around, but I don't think they'll get enough ball. Matt Dunning talking up his chances is like a cream bun saying "Hey! I bet you can't catch and eat me!"

    3. I listen to 'dem dropkicks and all...

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    A couple of thoughts:

    Barron's suggestions are ideal, as long as he wants to turn the game into Rugby League (no slur on League, but their international game is meaningless).

    Rugby's success in the English clubs was significantly accelerated by England winning the RWC in 2003, without the "shop window" the game would have struggled along as it had done.

    It's not often I agree with Murray Deaker, but surely the IRB's job is to protect Test Rugby as the pinnacle of the sport. Their lack of action is playing into the hands of the English & French clubs who want control over the game. I still believe that a global season is essential to save Test Rugby and stop these B-team tours.

    SANZAR isn't exactly free of the blame in this, they have steadfastly tried to keep the majority of Southern Hemisphere rugby money to themselves at the expense of the Islands and Argentina.

    Lots more to say, but that's a start

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 563 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I listen to 'dem dropkicks and all...

    Crap! We're gonna have to up the game! Who knew people actually listened!?!

    Murray Deaker is like a chimp with a machine gun*. Eventually he'll hit the target.

    A global season would be good, but how does it work? I suppose it doesn't have to be winter to play rugby (unless you're playing at the MCG). When is the off-season?


    *but less fun

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    New game show for Stu.

    Stu MCs while Bull Allan is blind folded & fondles a celeb - let's say Brook Fraser.
    All this to test the power of Bish Brian to defend the faithful from - Bernie Fraser.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    I guess the first thing Unions have to do to make the global season work is to be flexible about moving stuff. I would imagine that's not easy given the egos concerned (the egos of the local media, mostly).

    It means that Rugby will cease to be a winter game in some parts of the world (such as Aus/NZ/SA where the season starts in early Feb).

    Part of the problem for the clubs in England & France is that, as private concerns, they need games to make money. Obviously they'd rather players played for them, not the national teams as the clubs pay the wages. The balance has to give the clubs enough time to generate sufficient income, give the national teams enough time together to make games meaningful and the players 10 weeks off to recover.

    Say:

    January through June for club rugby/super 14, July & August for 3/6 Nations, September for recovery, October/Early November for more internationals, late November/December break.

    Obviously, without rejigging the Super 14 that would put pressure on our NPC, so there would need to be compromise in there somewhere. Brits will kick up bobbsy-dye about playing the 6N in summer, but there won't be any football to compete with

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 563 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Barron's suggestions are ideal, as long as he wants to turn the game into Rugby League (no slur on League, but their international game is meaningless).

    More like football, where there's loads of loverly lolley from Russian gansters for the players and directors and the international game is a largely irrelevant sideshow to the real business of interclub rioting.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Haydn, that footage of Cullen at the 7s is incredible.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 563 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Well I thought the game was a damn good one and our loose forward trio were particularly .... the shiznit. But the worst thing about the game was the horrendous commentary.

    Nisbett gets names wrong left right and centre, Mexted is ... well, we all know. And Tony Johnston is a disgrace. he is so one eyed it make me cringe listening to him whinge and moan and never give any credit to the opposition, meanwhile slagging the ref off for not giving the ABs penalties every 60 seconds and for daring to penalise us.

    This pretty much sums it up:
    http://www.sportsfreak.co.nz/show-column.asp?ID=322

    Since Nov 2006 • 876 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    Hmmm- yes if I had the opportunity, I'd be off to Glastonbury again. The finest festival I've ever attended - and the most eye opening (though with a bit of a dark-side – visiting the "travellers" camp was like a scene from Mad Max and the drugs market on the back-roads behind the afore mentioned camp was like an… err.... market - except the numerous sellers weren’t crying out "nice fresh haddock!").

    Kinda wish we had a proper festival here - we sure have got the land and the summer weather (generally) for it

    Having done quite a few festivals over the years, IMHO Womad in Taranaki comes the closest we have in NZ to Glastonbury. Obviously it's smaller and there aren't the big-name acts, but in terms of atmosphere, sublime music, good vibes and cheesy grins, it's actually pretty close.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • jb,

    The Guardian's "comprehensive" coverage isn't a big surprise-

    Quote from their Adsales website: Guardian News and Media are in the fortunate position to be one of the only commercial sponsors of the Glastonbury festival....

    So much for that, then.

    a.small.town.in.germany • Since Jan 2007 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    But the worst thing about the game was the horrendous commentary

    Actually, having endured Gordon Bray for over a decade, I can vouch for a more universal malaise in commentary standards.

    Its the pandering to the domestic audience by describing the games purely as a function of the local team - 'great defence there from the Wallabies, and now Wallabies on attack' yada yada

    League was no different either - most people I knew switched off the likes of Phil Gould and Fatty Vautin and listened to Roy & HG do their brilliant thing (actually, I think the crushing seriousness of NZ rugby would well benefit from the Roy & HG treatment).

    Although, I do find the british commentators to be of a better standard, particularly if their team has no hope of winning ....

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    The Gordon Bray comparison to Mex and TJ (who sells himself so short) is fair enough.

    So what's behind this trend then? PJ Monty takes it even further, even if on a more patronising angle.

    It really annoys me that the "strategists" behind sporting covering these sports obviously feel your average viewer (remember we pay for most of it) is that think / one-eyed???

    Can't they just have a separate feed for Cantabs???

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    Erm, I never noticed ANY bias in NZ commentators until I went overseas, probably 'cos I was busily screaming at the ref myself.

    Still, I'm mature now (!) and can appreciate the extent to which commentators talk us up and denigrate the refereeing. I think they just get carried away - they're fans alright, but they should remember they're on the telly, not in the bar.

    There's a trend in these competitive times to spend a lot of time talking up what we're watching. Cricket's Mark Nichols is absolutely shocking at this, everything with him is "Astonishing", "Superb" or "Masterful", and that's just the toss. English Football commentators also spend a LOT of time talking about the "Remarkable strength and competitiveness of the Barclay's Premiership in association with Bovril" or whatever the official title is nowadays. The Channel 9 team are pioneers at this.

    I want to know where's the succession policy is - Nisbett's been around for ever, Keith Quinn and John MacBeth are largely irrelevant. Who are the young up and comers.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And Tony Johnston is a disgrace. he is so one eyed it make me cringe listening to him whinge and moan and never give any credit to the opposition, meanwhile slagging the ref off for not giving the ABs penalties every 60 seconds and for daring to penalise us.

    To be fair, he had a point in the Durban game. Poor old Kelleher got called for knock-ons that were clearly the result of prone Bok players messing with the ball at the breakdown. One time Rolland appeared to be looking directly at a big green arm reaching through to spoil the ball, and still called the knock-on. And that carried-back incident was ludicrous. I'd hate to see a call like that decide a crucial World Cup game.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Whsspt!
    Legbreak - off side.
    So the commentators are Cantabs?
    No bro they're the All Blacks

    Conquest of paradise for those who want to sign along.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Nixon,

    Still, at least you didn`t have to listen to the South African commentry. According to them, the SA player who carried the ball back had his neck broken by So`oialo in the scramble afterwards for the ball. And then five minutes later Rokocoko did an obvious spear tackle...

    (1st post :))

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    OK Michael F, I admit I skimmed through that U Tube clip, but I assume it was some kind of Crusaders promo clip???

    So the guy I'd never seen before was obviously Reuben Thorne...

    But who were the rest?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Conquest of paradise - the theme for the Crusaders hooked up to a sci fi montage.
    To misappropriate blame for Stu Wilson, Mex, et al. upon Canterbury is totally unjust and unreasoned.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    To be fair, he had a point in the Durban game. Poor old Kelleher got called for knock-ons that were clearly the result of prone Bok players messing with the ball at the breakdown. One time Rolland appeared to be looking directly at a big green arm reaching through to spoil the ball, and still called the knock-on. And that carried-back incident was ludicrous. I'd hate to see a call like that decide a crucial World Cup game.

    My lowlight from him came early on when he was squeeling about how their were "three All Black players with their hands on the ball and he's given the scrum to South Africa!!!!".

    Umm... Tony. He signalled held up over the line. The entire All Black team could have been making love to the ball and it would have been a South African scrum.

    It's the hysterical and the cynical that annoys me. And TJ is great at it and most of the time Nisbett is happy to instigate it himself or carry it along. Mexted at least is reasonably fair, although totally incompetent. They have him in there for the humour element even if he is unaware of it.

    These commentators are a big part of why NZers start floating on a cloud of bliss all the way up to the big game where we choke every 4 years.

    Yes we are better than everybody else but yes we also drop the ball, give away penalties, make dumb decisions, and lose the odd game and occasionally the opposition does stuff better than we do.

    Our scrums might waste everybody elses but our lineout is about on a par with Canada's.

    I fell a blog coming on sometime soon... ;)

    Since Nov 2006 • 876 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Back on track - I take it the photos were staged by willing models?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4095214a4560.html

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Last century, 1989 I think, my sister came back from 6 months in Taiwan with a laminated cardboard device exactly the same as the 'she-pee' shown in the Guardian diagram.
    She figured that with NZ's great love of the outdoors there would be a market for such a device (female campers, trampers, etc) and made serious enquiries with suitable retaillers.
    My how they laughed back then .... 'cute' but no sale they said ...

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    My lowlight from him came early on when he was squeeling about how their were "three All Black players with their hands on the ball and he's given the scrum to South Africa!!!!".

    Umm... Tony. He signalled held up over the line. The entire All Black team could have been making love to the ball and it would have been a South African scrum.

    I agree Yamis. When we scored the two late tries TJ was wanking on about 'This is the conditioning programme, this is the difference the AB mgt wanted that will set the All Blacks apart... etc...'

    Jeez Tony, it ain't porno, we can enjoy the game without the love soundtrack you know.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 889 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I agree Yamis. When we scored the two late tries TJ was wanking on about 'This is the conditioning programme, this is the difference the AB mgt wanted that will set the All Blacks apart... etc...'

    Jeez Tony, it ain't porno, we can enjoy the game without the love soundtrack you know.

    Aw jeez ... he said: "I think we can stop questioning the All Black management's conditioning programme now."

    I actually thought that was a valid and timely observation, and also the kind of thing that tends to be much more evident when you're at the ground and on the sideline. I'm as frustrated by crap commentary as the next guy, but I don't think Johnson was out of line there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

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