I was foolish enough to pick up a Sunday paper while having coffee. On the front cover of the sports section there was a large article with a large colour photo about Hawke's Bay's loss to Canterbury in the Air New Zealand Cup. Down in the left corner was a wee picture of Casey Williams and a small paragraph or two about the Silver Ferns massive victory over the fourth best team in the world.
I know that netball (and women's sport in general) will always be behind rugby in coverage, funding and popularity. But that must've been a real kick in teeth. I had a wee rant in the café, mainly at the paper, but Amy made noises like she was listening.
I had watched the game on Saturday night and had been thoroughly impressed with a team that had looked, frankly, like shit only a few days earlier. This also marked the first time I had watched every game of an international series. In fact the Dropkicks did more than watch the first two tests, we commentated them (go and watch, I'll wait).
Given that I was calling for Ruth Aitken to be fired after the Australian series I was quite angry after our shock (and it was a shock) loss to England in the second test. Personally even after two giant drubbings Aitken should still consider herself to be on the “hotseat". Moreover, why do we have Wai Taumaunu as the assistant coach? I know she's a hard task-master (good) but she was also the incredible (sarcasm) coach of the Shakers (bad).
I think we learned a few things from this test series.
Irene van Dyk is a fantastic netballer and may be one of our greatest sports people of all time. But she is not a goal attack! She looked completely out of sorts when made to range around in the midcourt, and completely comfortable under the hoop.
Maria Tutaia is the complete opposite, shooting from outside with scary accuracy and having amazing speed for getting the passes. She is also smoking hot. There was an article a while back about the CanTeen bandanas and she made Dan Cater look like a weird little man with bad skin.
Casey Williams is a fucking axe. Though I fear for her knees if she keeps playing that hard. Did I mention she's a fucking axe! During the game Amy mentioned how the players shouldn't be allowed ponytails because they hurt if whipped about, especially if they are plaited. The first thing I noticed was that Williams had two lots of plaits. AXE.
Personally I couldn't care less about the current rugby. I will admit this weekend will be more exciting and I am excited to see Tanerau Latimer get a shot at the All Blacks; but I was totally pissed that our netballers were given a tiny bit of space on the front page and then relegated to page four inside (and with no colour pics).
Our women tend to outperform our men (see the current efforts of our multiple-World Cup-winning Black Ferns if you need evidence) but the media coverage is disproportionate.
As always, discuss.
Points off to the first person to congratulate Canterbury on beating Hawke's Bay or to weep over Hawke's Bay's loss.