Northern Mystics unveil rolling maul

NEWSDESK: The Northern Mystics netball franchise’s ‘rolling maul’ technique has left opponents reaching for the rule book, and in some cases, seriously injured. Hot on the heels of last week’s ‘hoist lift’ manoeuvre, this week the Mystics formed a rugby-style maul in the third quarter to advance the ball through mid court, and several Canterbury Tactix netballers.

“Netball has been losing market share in the ‘blood thirsty suburban nana’ demographic to league and UFC,” said NZ Netball marketing manager Suzuki Swift. “The rugby cross-pollination has flipped that around – we’ve gained  great traction with our ‘spunky chicks smashing into each other’ promotional strategy. I’m totally confident rolling mauls will take it to the next level.”

Reports that Australia’s Melbourne Vixens was spotted practising spear tackles at training this week were unconfirmed.

Finals fever

They don’t muck around, netballers. No taking-years-to-get-ready, drag-it-out-for-months-making-a-stadium-party-central like a rugby or cricket world championship. No, they just hired a mid sized conference venue in Singapore, and got on with it.

One young man even took pre-tournament-publicity into his own hands – urinating on a plane is not normally news, but this yellow rainbow didn’t take place in a coffin sized toilet or in some annoying businessman’s drink when he went off to complain about something, like normal. No, this one took place in the aisle, in full view of an aghast plane load of cut price netball fans. Aerial disturbances are usually the domain of our sporting media, but this time the perp was NZ Netball coach Ruth Aitken’s son – men across the country cringed to themselves when they imagined the telling off he’d get later. While normally revels in sporting shit hitting the media fan, this time I hope this pissing contest doesn’t get out of control and wind up with Steve Hanson’s offspring shitting on Prince Philip during the rugby world cup.

As for the netball itself, readers may know I don’t watch a lot of netball (or a lot of sport at all, in fairness), and tend to stick to the every two years commonwealth / world championship finals. After last night’s match, I felt validated, I was literally (I use that term in the literal sense) *shaking*. I couldn’t handle the netball. These big netball finals are some of the most intense sport you will ever see, team – hard luck Silver Ferns.

In rugby, New Zealand’s Crusaders were overwhelmed by the Reds – this was the wave of emotion final, with flood ravaged Queensland up against the earthquake decimated Canterbury. To be honest, the Crusaders looked buggered, and were found out in the last 20 minutes by a more settled team playing at home. I’d like to re-iterate what EVERY SINGLE TV REPORTER has been saying all week – fair play to them for getting to the final, and shame about the Hollywood fairytale ending. I only hope the All Black bound Crusaders get some serious rest between now and the world cup.

Interestingly, both the netball and rugby finals were marred by basic errors and missed chances. Twitter, post-netball loss, was full of doom and gloom merchants hypothesising that a one-point NZ loss to Australia in the world champs, along with the Crusaders’ loss DEFINITELY means we’ll lose the rugby world cup. To those people, I say “fuck off”. We need cool heads, team. Yes, there were mistakes made in these big finals, but that’s big finals, they’re never classics, are they? Save the superhero stuff for the quarters and semis – you just need to be less shit than the other guy to win finals.