Judiciary awards Higginbotham two weeks on the Gold Coast for kicking McCaw in the balls

NEWSDESK: Player’s Association officials were questioning the SANZAR judiciary’s decision to punish Wallaby flanker Scott Higginbotham with two weeks’ all expenses paid holiday on the Gold Coast complete with Platinum Class VIP casino access and the use of a sweet 1975 Holden Monaro GTS V8, for kicking All Black captain Richie McCaw in the balls during the final Bledisloe test.

“We’re struggling to see the logic of sending Higginbotham to the Gold Coast when Richie is still questioning his will to live,” said New Zealand Professional Rugby Players’ Association chief Rob Nichol. “We’d expect more punitive measures to be handed down after such a heavy blow to our captain’s family jewels.”

McCaw refused to be drawn into the debate, but pointed out that the judiciary handed Conrad Smith an eight week suspension for an “aggressive nose clearance” infringement and called for some guidance and consistency.

The controversial decision comes on the back of Springbok prop Dean Grayling receiving a Great White Shark dive cage experience and ticker tape parade through Pretoria for gratuitously raking McCaw’s eyes with the referee’s whistle during a Rugby Championship encounter in Dunedin.

“Guys, what happened to ‘let’s win it for Kevvy?'” with Kevin Mealamu

OPINION: So last week it was all “Kevin Mealamu, great man. Kevin Mealamu, 100 tests. Kevin Mealamu, let’s mark the milestone properly.”

What was that bullshit all about? Just some crap for the TV guys eh? Yeah definitely.

All your old mate Kevvy wanted on Saturday night was one win for me. Just one win. Don’t reckon that’s too much to ask when I’ve spent 100 tests getting kicked in the face to get you guys the ball. Instead, everyone shows up and plays like they’re drunk on cough medicine.

I mean, Richie and Mils got their silver hats during the world cup. That was awesome. My 100th match winds up being some bullshit draw in Aussie. Ten years time, no-one’s going to talk about Kevin Mealamu’s 100th match, they’ll be taking about drawing with some shit-arse team.

Sucks to be Kevvy eh. Thanks heaps.

It’s great to be an All Black and that, but you try sharing your spot with Horey. Nothing against the guy, but you imagine training, eating your breakfast and trying to get on and off the bus safely next to a guy like that. He just doesn’t seem that stable some mornings, eh. He’s got guns at home.

I’d like to see Richie concentrate on being Captain Wonderballs with someone half decent up his arse. Every other good openside over the last few years has been ‘disappeared’ pretty much eh. Who’s seen Marty Holah lately? Just pointing it out.

I wear black on the outisde ‘cos black is how I feel on the inside.

So we have a sponsor on the All Black jersey now. It’s actually remarkable that we’ve held out this long without but in true NZRFU / Eden Park hot dog style, now we’ve decided to cash in, we’ve done it in a shamelessly revenue-grabbing / shit on tradition manner. I’m sure (actually I have no idea) that AIG are a fine multinational insurance conglomerate, but do they belong on what’s arguably little old New Zealand’s national symbol? ‘No’ is the answer you’re looking for.

In fairness, I’m struggling to think of a sponsor the NZ ‘sporting’ ‘public’ would have been more accepting of. In my sportreview.net.nz fantasy land (a magical place where work never gets in the way of sitting around watching sport and sleeping, and couches are made of pies), the All Blacks run out with the Four Square guy on their chests, and not a fucked up Dick Frizzell one either. Somehow though, I doubt that friendly grocer could match AIG’s financial muscle.

Hadyn commissioned the below poorly photoshopped contribution to his black jersey rant at Public Address.




Reading list: Lance Armstrong

Reaction to USDA release
Lance Armstrong’s team ‘ran most sophisticated doping programme ever’ [Guardian] “”I was in the doghouse and… the only way forward with Armstrong’s team was to get fully on Dr Ferrari’s doping program,” said Vande Velde.”

Lance Armstrong: doping denials flushed away in Usada’s flood of detail [Guardian] “Vaughters says that Armstrong complained to him that (teammate) Celaya was much too conservative with the use of doping products.”

Details of Doping Scheme Paint Armstrong as Leader [New York Times] “Zabriskie, a five-time national time-trial champion, recalled serenading Johan Bruyneel, the longtime team manager, with a song about EPO, to the tune of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’. “EPO all in my veins; Lately things just don’t seem the same; Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why; ’Scuse me while I pass this guy.”

Dark Turn in the Tale of a First Title [New York Times] Just before the 1999 Tour de France, a teammate pointed out that Lance Armstrong had a bruise on his upper arm caused by a syringe. According to a doping investigation, Armstrong cursed and said, “That’s not good.”

How Armstrong Beat Cycling’s Drug Tests [New York Times] “The most conventional way that the U.S. Postal riders beat what little out-of-competition testing there was, was to simply use their wits to avoid the testers,” the report concluded.

George Hincapie’s confession will hurt Lance Armstrong the most [The Independant] “Hincapie had already retired at the end of this season, but his confession is a bombshell that isolates Armstrong in his insistence of innocence to a point which is almost pitiful.”

INTERVIEW-Cycling-Perception will take time to change-Vaughters [Yahoo! News]

Raw data

The 200-page USDA ruling in full.

Infographic: Top Finishers of the Tour de France Tainted by Doping [New York Times]

A review of The Secret Race [Red Kite Prayer]


Big interview: Donald McRae meets Lance Armstrong [Guardian, 2008]

Lance Armstrong Rides Again [Vanity Fair, 2008]

Say It Ain’t So, Lance [The New Yorker, 2011]

The Long Ride [The New Yorker, 2002]

If all this is too depressing

Some hipster-fixie types travel to Austin to ride with Lance

Usain Bolt to do that Usain Bolt shit in New Zealand

NEWSDESK: Multiple Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt is set to do that Usain Bolt shit in New Zealand. After touching down, Bolt threw a few Hulk Hogan poses in the customs queue, was ushered into the airport lobby where he fingerbanged several photographers, before being ushered quickly away by minders.

Bolt was unavailable for verbal experiences with media, but sponsors representative Heady Sunglasses told reporters Bolt was going to “You know, do that pose and potentially some other contractually approved complicated hand signals, which New Zealanders can experience on the news, or speeding past in a people mover.

“Kiwi kids seeing Usain Bolt do Usain Bolt shit here for the 3 hours and 45 minutes he spends in New Zealand could inspire a generation.”

Campbell Live viewers can watch John ask Bolt what he thinks of New Zealand at 7pm tonight.