So one team didn't really show up and it was a bit of a blow-out. And while I loved it (fucking luuurrrved it) it was a wee bit annoying. Were the All Blacks actually better than they were previously?
We kicked less, so that was good. We didn't lose a lineout against a team which isn't too shabby in that area. And we made sure they didn't cross the bloody try line, we even got in a bit of light rucking. But we still have this situation where the ball gets to the wing and finds…forwards?
The backs crowd the midfield and we have almost equal groups of forwards on either side. I know Tony Woodcock likes sea gulling out on the wing, but this seems to be a bad tactic if we, with all due respect to Tony, actually want to score more tries.
Tom and Thommo had good games, although with Thompson it's not always easy to tell if he's doing good things or just running about. And Aled de Malmanche fulfilled a dream and actually got game time in a test match. It was just a minute, but still, the big fella must be stoked.
Oh and I have to officially take back every bad thing I said about Cory Jane and reiterate every bad thing I said about James O'Connor (and there were a fair few on Saturday night)
We now have a few weeks of bitching and contemplating which fresh meat we should send north and whether Steve Hansen will remain with the team. You just know that when Hansen slammed his fist down on the bench when the second try went over that in his head he was yelling "Fuck you New Zealand!"
If the rugby was a one-sided affair the Derby was anything but. The crowd was feral, the skaters were angry, and the refs had their hands full with nearly every skater being sent to the box at some point.
After the first few jams (each bout is two 30min halves, each half has multiple jams that can go for a maximum of 2mins) Smash Malice had built a healthy lead on the backs of their jammers who were slicing through the pack at will.
Roles were quickly being asserted. Each team had its enforcers and its leaders and its mavericks. Wax Assassin and Suffer Jet for example were causing lots of strife in the pack both as jammers and blockers with their willingness to stretch the rules and put in big hits.
The teams went into the break with Malice leading by over 20 points and looking to cruise to victory. But as Lux Vengeance, captain for Brutal Pageant would say at the end, unless a team is up by 50 or more, don't count out the comeback.
With five minutes to go Pageant had come back even and going in to the last jam they lead by two points. The jam started with Tuff Bikkies (Malice) and Goldie Scorn (Pageant) lined up as jammers. Bikkies managed to smash through the pack to get the lead position. The crowd went beyond wild.
Scorn was right on her wheels, though, and nipped in front to slow Bikkies right down as time expired. But the jam goes until the two minutes were up so it was a free-for-all. Malice became malicious and Pageant became brutal. You score points for passing opposition players so having skaters in the box (maximum of two) was almost an advantage at that point and it was almost a revolving door. Skaters were flying everywhere and referees were getting close to ejecting skaters altogether.
But the dancing had started on the Brutal Pageant benches. They had survived and as the final whistle went it was just a formality to wait for the official score (194-188). But this was just the best of three. The next bout, Civil Offence is in three weeks (tickets are already on sale) and Malice will be ready for that. In fact an anonymous source told me that former Derby star Sneaky Darky is readying herself for a comeback, so watch that space.
But no one on Brutal Pageant were thinking that far ahead they just wanted to enjoy the moment.
Speaking of teams pipped in the dying minutes, I went to the Phoenix on Sunday. A wonderful lazy Sunday, so lazy in fact that I missed the first goal because I was enjoying strolling in the afternoon sunshine.
I have to say that the last match I went to was dull and I left at halftime. But this day game seemed much more lively and the attraction of somebody called Fowler seemed to make it much more interesting. Fowler has been doing so well for the Fury (in their awful lime green uniforms) that he was the subject of a special press release this week.
North Queensland Fury FC marquee player Robbie Fowler has achieved what no other player has in the Hyundai A-League with a hat trick of Solo Goals of the Week.
Fox Sport's Simon Hill summed up [Fowler's hat-trick] as a defining moment in the Hyundai A-League.
The first half was a slew of missed opportunities for the Phoenix including a complete sitter for Daniel. Less than a metre from the open goal the cross went through his legs. Up in the media box one of the reporters said, "I bet Fowler scores in the 90th minute just to be annoying". Hello Commentator's Curse.
Still it was a nice sunny day and the Yellow Fever were in full voice. Kids were all over the place and yelling what they thought would be good things to yell to please their parents. And Mike would like to petition the A-League organisers for more afternoon games because the light is nicer:
The Richter City Roller Derby's next bout is on October 10 at the Wellington Basketball Association Courts. They run on volunteers so if you want to help out, go to the site and drop them a line. That includes anyone who wants to become fresh meat.