Thursday, 24 June 2010

All Blacks and Wales and the All Whites 2010

All Blacks V Wales at the Brook and still we grumble

It seems like a century ago that the All Blacks comfortably beat Wales for the last test match in Carisbrook. I only saw the second half of this match but switching on the TV at half time I thought it was the All Blacks who were losing - judging the glum way commentators were moaning on. In fact it was NZ who were leading at half time which had me thinking – what do these poor blighters have to do to get a smile out of rugby followers in this country?

Inevitably, the All Blacks answered their critics in the second spell. The Welsh as fiery as they were in the first half, did the usual northern hemisphere tactic of running out of steam as the minutes progressed in the second. The All Blacks then turned on a vintage display and with Dan Carter showing glimpses of his Rolls Royce 2005 form, this was a second half to savour. For a full match report I couldn’t go past green and gold rugby - made extra sweet as it is an Australian pen waxing lyrical.

England V Australia and England V NZ Maori

Unfortunately across the ditch Oz didn’t fare so well with Matt Giteau having a nightmare evening with the boot. This gave the English the test and we now have to put up with all sorts of churchillian headlines in the British broadsheets about this new dawn for English rugby (if the All Blacks were coming back from the Northern Hemisphere with two losses, two wins and a draw – we’d be calling for Graham Henry’s head on a Catherine Wheel).

Unfortunately for England, they couldn’t quite hold the momentum of that rare win on Australian soil, and were soundly defeated by the Maori in Napier last night. It was a great game with both teams running the ball and playing rugby in the spirit that we love it to be played. Hosea Gear put his hand up for All Black honours with a hat trick of tries and even the English showed some exciting invention - which had most gasping in disbelief.

Suzy strikes at the All Whites training camp

On a strictly non rugby related note, I couldn’t miss mentioning the All Whites and their miraculous draw with incumbent world champions Italy at the football world cup. This is huge news for New Zealand sports fans and it is great that everyone has got behind the team.

I doubt very much that we will be able to beat or draw with Paraguay who definitely look the form team of the group. However we have extra worries to contend with now. It appears Suzy the waitress is once again in our midst with NZ star defender Ryan Nelsen currently suffering a stomach bug. Echoes of 1995 rumble on, can we ever escape these harsh memories?

Neemia Tialata

I’m not a fan of Tialata on the field - he is no Carl Hayman. But my heart softened when I read his twitter page earlier. “G/morning tweeps! 2day, 2morrow, & always u are love & wished the best the future brings... So best wishes and let's be the best 2day... “ tweets Neemia.

I don’t know what the old school All Blacks of pinetree’s era would make of all that, but I think it’s quite nice when a rugby player is in tune with his inner new age mantra via social networking. And it never hurts anyone when you wish them love.

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