SRNZPA: Inventory manager Nick Ungar, 38, is largely to blame for the Crusaders’ exit from the Super 14 at the semi final stage according to staff at Christchurch’s Star Paper Ltd. The Crusaders have long counted on their phenomenal fans, and Ungar’s less than wholehearted support is being seen in a decisive factor in the loss to the Bulls in Pretoria.
Star’s accounts receivable supervisor Dave Goodman held an inpromtu post mortem around the photocopier and concluded Ungar’s lack of commitment has cost the franchise a record seventh title. “What’s the first thing Richie or Robbie says when they win? Yip, ‘I’d like to thank the fans’. There’s no way we can win otherwise. No way”. Goodman went on to explain that he wasn’t crying, he just had something in his eye.
Incidents that seemed merely strange at the time are now being viewed as turning points in the season, like Ungar’s Monday morning enquiry of the score between the Crusaders and the Bulls in the round robin. He also asked “Who’s Chris Jack ?” when the legendary lock’s knee injury was featured on pages 1, 2, 3, 9, and 23 of the Christchurch Press.
“I knew he wasn’t right at on ‘Wear your jersey to work. A Crusaders jersey.’ day” said social club organiser Gareth Buck. “He came in some kind of Squash club tracksuit top – it was red and black alright, but the sleeves were green. I had him on about it and he kind of went ‘oh, really?’ and kept on checking his email. I’m not surprised we lost. Not fucking surprised at all”.
The final straw came when Ungar failed to join a team outing to Jade Stadium for the Chiefs match, instead preferring to celebrate his fifth wedding anniversary by taking his wife to dinner. That decision was to cost the Crusaders the advantage of a home semi final and ultimately the title. “What a girl” said Goodman, adding “If he doesn’t get on board at World Cup time and we lose, he’s dead meat”.
The Crusaders organisation have made it clear they take a dim view. “Other teams shit themselves when they play us as they know the whole Canterbury public are behind the boys. The WHOLE public, not just those that can be bothered” said a Crusaders spokesman. “If Ungar doesn’t wake the fuck up we’ll be forced to review Star Paper Ltd’s supply of posters, mini-rugby balls and inflatable swords”. Former players Justin Marshall and Andrew Merthens released a joint statement warning the franchise’s catchment area that behaviour like Ungar’s is directly responsible for senior players seeking playing opportunites overseas.
SRNZPA: Harewa resident Mark ‘Gates’ Gately is cautiously optimistic of staying awake to watch television coverage of this weekend’s Super 14 Semi Finals from South Africa. With the Blues and Sharks kicking off at 1am NZ standard time followed by The Bulls versus the Crusaders at 3.30am, Gately sees remaining conscious for both matches as a realistic goal, despite getting right off his chops. “This is where the years of experience start to pay off”.
Gately, who lives alone, admits to mistakes in the past. “I thought I did everything right for the World Cup Final in 95 – came home early, TV on, I’d just sat down and cracked open a Tui… next thing it’s 6 o’ bloody clock in the morning. Those two steak and cheese from the servo did me in – schoolboy error, that.”
Golden oldies team mate Dave McFee clearly believes “Soft bollock” Gately will fall asleep. “If he makes it through both semis, I’ll go to prize giving in farkin’ make-up. He’s piss weak, that’s his problem”. McFee feels he’s identified some fatal flaws in the plan despite Gately’s optimism. “He’ll have a few pints, couple of pies, lights out. Same old story – he’s got no show.”
Gately feels meticulous preparation is crucial to enjoying rugby when totally shitfaced. “I’ve got the lounge all kitted out. After Dawn moved out I moved the ‘fridge and microwave into the lounge – I’ve heaps of coke, coffee and baked beans ready to go. And Bourbon. As long as I leave the club rooms across the field and avoid the service station and the pies, I’ll be right”.
Any rugby watched after 8.30pm will be a reversal of recent form, following his protracted snoring through Chiefs v Crusaders, the second half of Hurricanes v NSW, almost all of the Cricket World Cup and his nephew Daryl’s 21st birthday celebrations.
The very future of our national game plunged deep into the shit when it was revealed star first five Dan Carter is heading overseas. He joins the legions of players, including current All Blacks Chris Jack, Aaron Mauger and Byron Kelleher who are heading overseas, to take up the barely comprehensibly massive packages on offer to top players in this day and age. Rugby insiders say scouts from big spending clubs in England and France spend most of their time licking their lips at the prospect of getting their filthy hands on the All Blacks, often while drinking wine or warm beer.
New Zealand, a small green country at the end of the earth with only four million people whose spirit was forged from this rugged land with number eight wire ingenuity, cannot hope to retain their Weet-Bix raised top players on the puny Kiwi dollar. Carter’s news should see every single New Zealander, including Kiwis living offshore and those too young to fully understand, unable to sleep tonight.
Carter confirmed yesterday he was heading overseas: “Yeah, I’m going to South Africa for the Super 14 Semi and maybe the Final. I’ll be back there for the Tri Nations, and Aussie too. Then there’s the World Cup of course, which is in France. I may get one of those cheap deals to Fiji at the end of the year, we’ll see how it goes”.
SRNZPA: Pensioner Barry McDonnell can’t decide between watching the Black Caps’ semi final appearance against Sri Lanka from a Mount Maunganui Cosmopolitan Club bar stool or his couch. “It’s a close call, I tell ya” he said today.
“At the bar, you’re getting all the atmosphere. They’ve got some pretty decent numbers for the second innings considering it starts at sparrow’s fart. We’re still going on that meat pack they raffled for the Ireland match, too”. The increased chances of alcohol consumption are a major factor in his decision. “If I’m at the bar, and we’re winning, I’ll probably have a jug. Be rude not to. Then again, I’ll probably have one if we’re losing too. Elsie’d kill me if I had a drink at home before midday” he said.
There are major doubts about his couch as a viable option. “At home you can concentrate on the match alright and see all the replays, but there’s about as much atmosphere as a Richard Petrie fan club AGM. Elsie will be asking where Chris bloody Harris is every five minutes, too.”
McDonnell concluded his wife’s concern about neighbours’ opinion of the deck that’s needed painting for three years while he’s sitting on his arse in the middle of the day, for heaven’s sake would curtail his enjoyment of the match and that “I’ll be at the Cossie. Fuck it.” He went on to express similar concerns about his ability to peacefully view this years’ America’s Cup yacht racing and Rugby World Cup. A TV in the shed was one option being considered.
SRNZPA: In a bold move, England un-invented Cricket following their crushing nine wicket defeat at the hands of South Africa. Former ECB Chairman David Morgan told reporters “Our supporters have long faced taunts about England inventing the game, but being crap at it. Well, sod you lot quite frankly, we can ruddy well un-invent it. That is all.” When pressed further while leaving the press conference, a clearly tired and emotional Morgan blurted “You Aussies think you’re so smart – well stick this up your jacksie, Trev.” before being quickly lead away.
Chartered accountant Micheal Vaughan said “Obviously we’ll take full responsibility for ending Cricket forever – that’s life. Batting first after winning the toss wasn’t the best move, but hindsight’s 20/20 isn’t it? We just have to make the best of it.” Yorkshire plumber Andrew Flintoff: “Well the lads are pretty disappointed at how its worked out, but we mustn’t grumble, we’d had a good innings. We’ll always have fond memories of 2005, and that WAS a tremendous piss-up afterwards.”
“I’m absolutely devastated” responded Malcom Speed, unemployed. “One or two results have gone against England, and they’ve made what must have been an extremely tough decision. We’d bought the finest around to the Carribean for a carnival of Cricket, now we’ve just got a bunch of guys in tracksuits buying duty free booze. It’s a nightmare.”
Former Cricketers may not be out of a job if Saatchi & Saatchi Chief Executive Kevin Roberts’ planned breakaway sport “Loveball” gets off the ground. “Oh boy, I am super, super stoked! You guys are gonna love it! I haven’t been this excited since the Gillette Fusion razor! Woooooooo! Yeah! Woooooooo!” enthused Roberts before spontaneously exploding.
The repercussions of this unprecedented move will be felt far and wide, with Lords, Home Of Cricket facing a future as Lords, Home Of Gardening, and Rugby and Netball administrators fearing copycat uninventings before their own world cups later this year. The Channel Nine commentary team are now lobbying Rugby League for a job, with Tony Grieg making a breakaway bid for Polo and Basketball.
SRNZPA: The little fancied Australians won the ICC World Cup Pub Quiz in the Barbados Holiday Inn’s conference rooms 3 & 4 last night. They beat pre-quiz favourites South Africa in a play off round, with the closest guess to the 1893 invention of Peanut Butter. This was a massive boost for Australia, who have an ignominious record in competition requiring brains, while South Africa added to their history of failing at the final hurdle.
A jubilant Ricky Ponting told journalists “The boys are made up. No-one gave us a VB’s chance in Warney’s fridge to win, but we showed some real ticker in here to pull it out. Every Australian can be proud of their team. We’re going to enjoy ourselves tonight, yeah.”
Australia were almost written off early, making schoolboy errors like identifying Bob Hawke as The Muppet Show’s Sam the Eagle in the world leaders round. Crucially, their choice of double point Joker round was ‘Offensively Moronic Commentators’, in which the Channel Nine team featuring heavily.
South Africa established a massive lead early on, before being slowly dragged back to the pack. Sean Pollock proved his worth as a world class all rounder in the music round, picking up a Stock, Aitken Waterman hat trick of Kylie Minouge, Sinitta and the Reynolds Girls in quick succession. “There are a lot of long faces at that table” admitted Pollock. “I’m disappointed ‘cos we haven’t learned from our mistakes – I’m not looking forward to facing the music back home.”
Dark Horses New Zealand made the semi finals with a minimum of fuss, and were many critic’s choice for the title, but spectacularly collapsed on the ‘Celebrity Babies’ round. Stephen Fleming said “I’m gutted, Ham Marshall bought a stack New Ideas with him, and I thought our gossip was going to very, very strong indeed. We argued and argued over Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s kids names. I wrote down Scout, but Macca rubbed it out and put Brownie. That’s quizzing, I guess.”
SRNZPA: Following wins over England, Canada, Kenya and Bangladesh, the Black Caps will now meet France at Antigua & Barbuda on April 23. This match is part of the ‘Super Surprise’ round to be played between the conclusion of the Super 8s and the Semi Finals. Other fixtures include Australia v Mexico, South Africa v Fiji and Sri Lanka v Norway.
The Super Surprise round had been kept under wraps until now, and is designed to re-ignite interest in a tournament that’s come under heavy criticism for its confusing format and sparse crowds. “And you thought we we had nothing” said ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed.
SRNZPA: Ashburton resident Don MacFarlane has spoken out against 1977 Wisden Cricketer of the Year Viv Richards’ glowing assessment of New Zealand’s Cricket World Cup chances, claiming “They’ll still fuck it up from here”. Richards, who scored 8540 runs in his glittering test career was quoted today as saying
“I like New Zealand’s approach, they’re quietly bubbling away, making no noise, and getting stronger by the day”. “Bullfarkinshit” said MacFarlane.
The Ashburton barber and Lions club member of 25 years poured scorn on Richard’s view that “You just get the feeling they’re peaking at the right time, and they’ve got all contingencies covered”. “He’s talking out his arse – the day the Black Caps win the World Cup is the day I run down the main drag with a bloody Blues jersey on. No way, mate.”
MacFarlane’s claims are based on historical precedents. “We had it on a plate in ’92. Playing at home on our pitches, with our crowds, we never had it better. We just need to put the foot on Pakistan’s throat, but it all turned to shit. 99? Farked it up. 2003? Farked it up.” said MacFarlane, who added this was “typical” and that the Black Caps were “a pack of farkin chokers”.
The former Shirley lock forward was equally scathing about former Australian Test Skipper Ian Chappell’s assessment that “only New Zealand has the skill and courage to challenge Australia in the World Cup cricket final”. “Whatever” retorted the South Island-based fuckwit. “That’s the biggest lot of shit I’ve ever heard”, adding “they’ll all be injured by the time we play a decent team, anyway.”
SRNZPA: Black Caps coach John Bracewell has moved swiftly to bolster his squad’s personality by picking Napier hard case Colin Anderson, a specialist in pranking and high-jinks, to join the World Cup squad following Lou Vincent’s return home and uncertainty over Mark Gillespie’s shoulder.
“I don’t want to be caught in a situation where the utter lack of fun overwhelms the boys during the Super Eights” said Bracewell. “In the old days we had guys like Jerry Coney and Stephen Boock who’d tie Cairnsy’s shoes together or put a blue movie VHS in the Smash Palace box, but the current squad has no nutters at all. I was hoping Hamish Marshall’s hair would give the lads a laugh, but… nothing”.
Yesterday Colin Anderson was taking the piss out of his team mates in a Hawkes Bay Indoor Cricket team. Today he’s going to the World Cup. Addressing a hastily arranged press conference at Auckland International Airport, Anderson told reporters he was humbled by his last minute selection. “My feet have hardly touched the ground. To be honest, when Braces called I thought it was Boner having me on. I’ll have to say sorry to him for all the filthy language. And his Mum”.
“At 43, I’d almost given up on playing for New Zealand, but I’ve worked hard on my down-trous all winter, and I’m good squad cover cos I can do dirty jokes AND songs. Braces was obviously impressed by my 17.6 ear-ringing farts per bus trip. I’m gutted for Lou, but when these chances come along you have to grab them with both hands. I’m jumping out of my skin, it’s a dream come true, yeah”.
Anderson will join the squad in time for the mid-Super 8 “Vicars and Hoes” fancy dress party.