England have the World Cup fever – the 2003 fever

Woah – another big website, another scary insight. With 20 odd days to go until rugby’s big showpiece event in France, click on the BBC’s ‘Rugby World Cup‘ section and this is what you get – poor old sicknote Wilkinson looking uncomfortable in the arms of an enthusiastic team mate on that magical night in Sydney.

Talk about Groundhog Day – I’m appalled at the shoddy lack of updates on the Beebs’ website. And NO mention of 1987 whatsoever.


What was the top story on the New Zealand Herald’s homepage at 1.30PM Monday 13 August? New Zealand’s nationally distributed and widely read newspaper published out of our biggest city?

A long retired Wallaby player reassures the nation about our biggest collective fear – the All Blacks won’t choke.

What will the evening edition bring? Martin Johnson saying Dan Carter and Richie McCaw are highly unlikely to accidentally kick each other in the bollocks in the first five minutes of the final? Janie De Beer saying “Go to sleep and dream little Kiwis, every thing will be alright. Everything will be alright”?

I love this country.

Fishy fishy

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Fishy fishy, originally uploaded by richirvine73.

I hauled this one out of the harbour this morning before work. I think I’ll call him Nathan Bracken.

It hurts

Thoughts on this evening’s defeat to England:
– Following a Black Caps top order collapse on CricInfo is much less fun than watching on the box (if you find that sort of thing fun, that is)
– Styris got 80 odd in a domestic match today – let’s get him on a plane, quick smart
– What were England DOING when they batted? They dwardled along like 11 Geoff Boycotts, it was more boring than ten man rugby from the 80s. If we’d had a little luck and got Flintoff out any earlier we’d have probably nicked it
– Flintoff is obsessed with punching gloves with his batting partner – one of England’s tailenders wasn’t expecting it when he came to the crease, and just about got a cock-punch
– Without Bond, our go-to tactic is still the slow-medium dobbers – twelve years ago it was Latham and Harris, now it’s Astle and specialist bowler Craig McMillian (who in fairness did a great job tying England down at the death)
– Tony Greig’s shameless cheering for the Poms is beyond a joke – if Sky Digital had an option to mute individual commentators, and have them replaced them with nails scraping a blackboard, I’d cheerfully pay double my subscription (Stu Wilson, you’d be next on my list, Bucko)
– Cricinfo’s headline right now is ‘Flintoff edges England in thriller’ – is that in a kind of Michael Jackson sense of ‘Thriller’?
– Scary thing is, England aren’t all that flash a side, and we stil lost. Did you spot anything to worry the Aussies?
– More depressing than the actual game was tuning into Radio Sport on the way to the video shop post-match, with one caller asking if Shane Bond actually had a migraine (back strain?), or just didn’t feel like playing. The horror…

Flashback – FICA World XI match

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FICA World XI match, originally uploaded by richirvine73.

For those despairing of the Black Caps’ woes – here’s a scene from the Tsunami relief matches, when we had firepower like Jeff Wilson in the team, and Flem could set fields like this.

I’d take Greg Sommerville at this stage.

Mark, Mark, Mark…

A Waikato University study has found Mark Ellis reinforces traditional male chauvinist attitudes to women. I’ve found that most of the time he reinforces being a cock.

Depressingly, every third NZ male wants to be Mark Ellis. Here’s how:
1. Make sure you went to Otago Uni in the early 90’s. Sorry, ‘Tago.
2. Get naked a lot and run really fast. It doesn’t matter where, but make sure you get it on tape.
3. Have a troupe of no-names tagging along to laugh at everything you do as though their lives depend on it. See also: Knoxville, Johnny.
4. Spend your journey to work working on your eyebrow raises.
5. Go on TV drunk, that shit is HALARIOUS.
6. Make some extremely unusual choices with your facial hair and clothing.
7. For a signature move, say something unintelligable and then clench your jaw, combined with the eyebrow raise. Don’t say anything after that. The public laps that shit right up.
8. Don’t be as clever, or as good a bloke, as Ric Salizzo.
9. Interestingly, take drugs with all your celebrity mates.
10. Go to league and be shit.