This is an intriguing point of the tour – the Lions sent to a tough venue to play a tough team a week out from the first Test. Which will be tough. You get the idea.
The misty, niggly rain that turned up a few hours from kick off, which had the Lions’ big pack licking their lips like they were being offered vinegar on their fish and chips and hurt the Māori ABs’ backline chances for razzle or dazzle.
Frankly, the home team were flat when the occasion called for a bit more. The bright spots of a stirring haka and home town hero Liam Messam’s try came early but there was little else to cheer about, despite some big hits going in late.
The Lions had all the control and their big strong runners and big long kickers won the territory battle comfortably. Their first job is making sure they’re tough to beat and it’ll be the same next week. Can’t wait.
Off-field it was fantastic grass roots stuff, Rotorua’s big banks were often more entertaining than the game, with several punters forced to regret their choice of non-grip footwear. I bet we had more fun than all those Lions fans in the end-on segregated seating.
I’d just bought a flat but the moving-in day was the Tuesday of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston. I get picked on Sunday. I’m speaking to the chairman of selectors and I say, ‘That’s great, but I’ve kind of bought a flat and I need to move in on Tuesday, do you mind if I turn up on the Wednesday?’ I’d made up my mind that I was going to do everything on my own terms. He was probably thinking, ‘Who’s this guy?’
Nothing worse than social media criticism – but consider England, responsible for cricket’s existence, being mocked by the game’s governing body with a GIF featuring a reality TV (presumably) unknown. Cheap effort for clicks from a digital team who’re otherwise kicking arse at making footage and exclusives available online fast.
NEWSDESK: In an effort to reconnect with frustrated supporters, the NZ Warriors team have reached out to jersey-burning fans with a limited edition Fan Fire jersey.
“The Warriors Faithful Sent Us A Clear Message On Social Media,” said Warriors marketing exec Des Frazzler. “They Want The Boys To Show Some Fire.”
The eighteenth jersey to be released in coach Stephen Kearny’s first season comes in red and blue flame editions and will be available at Waikato Stadium this Friday night for $190 for adults and $185 for kids.
When asked if the Fan Flame jerseys are flammable, Frazzler confirmed “They’ll burn all right. They’ll burn.”
Grab a nice red and settle in for 5 minutes 34 seconds of Juan Roman Riquelme passing a football:
“Because an entire industry is geared toward suppressing objectivity and encouraging fans to feel they are members of something they can never leave, no matter how grindingly unhappy they might become with the product.”
Dean Barker has been through a fair bit – you’d have to have a heart harder than an Easter Island statue to wish him anything but the best in the next Auld Mug.
However, producing Engaging Content is a harsh business and so the multiple America’s Cup runner up and man on the other end of the greatest fecking comeback ever was forced to read out ‘There is no second’ for the sake of 57 retweets in a ghastly promo clip:
sportreview.net.nz is probably being over-protective of a fine sailor who’s handled himself with more dignity than the legions of armchair experts who’ve lined up to stick the oar in over the years – but that’s a hollow, hollow look.
He’s Dan Carter on the All Black bench against France in 2007. He’s Steve Smith getting a bad decision. He’s Ronaldo when a team mate slightly over hits a cross. He’s Andy Murray when room service doesn’t put the HP sauce on the fucking side of the fucking plate.
Let’s hope the America’s Cup digi team gets to ‘capture’ more actual sailing content very soon rather than this kind of carry on. If an event with such a great history was a little more aware of its own history, it would be all more palatable and enjoyable for it.
“It’s child cruelty, really, isn’t it? Taking your kid to lower league football. That’s the joke. It is sometimes made to me. I sometimes make it myself, in a self-deprecating way. But I’ve been taking my little boy to watch Leyton Orient this season, during the worst period of their long history, and I can’t help but worry that I’m going to ruin football for him.”
Martin Belam on taking your kids to the football. I’ve had similar feelings about taking sportreview junior to rugby. Phones definitely help – I’m concerned he sees 80 minutes of Super Rugby as an opportunity for uninterrupted device time. As we all do now, come to think of it.
Sometimes it’s a horrible mistake to let ten-year-olds name their own baseball team. Then again, sometimes they crush it. pic.twitter.com/I1jgDqrPfp
As average cricketers go, I’m pretty much middle of the pack. After playing through school, club cricket at Uni and a magical Guinness-soaked season in Ireland I haven’t bothered an oval in any fashion until late 2015, when I’ve had the honour of representing the mighty Mairangi Vice in East Coast Bays cricket club’s Bays Big Bash comp.
It’s an eight a side Twenty20 comp designed for chaps who’ve played a bit in the past but are too hectic with kids / jobs / laziness to play at the weekends, and are also probably mostly injured. There’s a few rules designed to get the game done before dark like short run ups and only bowling from one end – it felt good to be playing with a proper ball again. Our team was made up of Dads from around the neighbourhood and around the world, with South Africa, England and India as well as NZ represented, we were a happy unit.
Most Monday nights I’d drift off to sleep replaying the one that really came out of the middle of the bat with a satisfyingly wooden-sounding Tchock. Or feeling more useless than Darren Lehmann’s thesaurus because I’d dropped another catch. Either way, playing again has been bloody magic.
Trade Me definitely enabled the excitement before season one. I needed a new bat and won the auction for a Slazenger V900 bow, a nice piece of willow that was definitely wider with bigger edges than the ones I was used to back in the day. I was a bit devastated to see Michael Clarke’s name on the back of it, and even more so when I scored a new bag, which also turned out to be endorsed by my least favourite cricketer ever. That will learn me and I look forward to getting my Shane Watson pads next year.
I consider myself mainly a bowler, yer medium pace out swing, off cutter, obvious slow balls kind of carry on, but my memories didn’t really match up with what my arm refused to do any more. We were playing with white balls that swung alarmingly for the first four overs, then immediately transformed into pieces of dry soap, and it took me some time to get into a decent rhythm and get those effort-ball-leg-side wides out of my game. A few wickets came but I was never the game changer I envisaged on the drive to the ground. Batsman’s game, innit.
In game one this year, full of confidence after a hasty net the day before I somehow managed to rattle up 65 not out. In my mind it was Guptill at the cake tin. The reality was probably more paddle crab with bat.
You can always tell what kind of backyard a batsman has from his go-to shots. For me, the target areas were straight down the ground to the back fence, slashing between point and the covers into the large shrubs and nothing on the leg side, where the windows were. I did manage to work a kind of golf shot to cow corner into this limited set of shots and somehow managed another three 50s this year to my utter delight and furious eye rolling of my partner and kids.
The real shocker was in the field, I could not take a catch to save my life. Everything went great in practice but get me out there with a real live chance and I went to pieces, mournfully throwing the ball back, apologising to the bowler and muttering all the swear words I know to myself for the next few overs. I have no excuse, and if I get to play again, I’ll be out there doing proper practice pre-season. Hopefully.
Full credit goes to the umpires who put up with us, Louis at East Coast Bays and the Mairangi Vice fellas themselves for their enthusiasm and reliability. I’m sure I’ve done something to my shoulder, and while I’m busy not doing anything about it during the winter I’ll have those happy memories of a straight half-volley sailing over the boundary or actually getting a yorker right for once. It’s been amazing fun.
Who did the best presidential first pitch? For sportreview.net.nz, Obama wins best jeans, Regan best jacket, Clinton takes most surprising lack of fire while JFK wins for best suit and not even bothering to get out on the field. See them all.
The connoisseurs of Litton’s audacity were galvanized. They stared at course maps: He could have cut it there—or there. For the conspiracy-minded, it was a juicy peach, and LetsRun contributors adopted handles like Lone Gunman and Zapruder. The paramount question was “How?” Did he have an accomplice? Did he drive from point to point? Ride a bicycle? Devise digital subversions?