Sunday, July 22, 2007

Silver and Black equals Gold in New Zealand sports - what a weekend...

To understand us, you would have to be at least an Australian. They are probably greater sports nuts than we in New Zealand.

Most of our competitive sports are played against the Australians. They love to rub it in when their sides beat us. If I'm honest that is quite often, but...

Part one - The Men:

When the Men in Black, the All Blacks from New Zealand, the consistently most successful and historically greatest rugby team and rugby brand in world rugby, said by France to be the Brazil of rugby - and what a compliment that was, thank you very much, come calling things can get pretty difficult for opposing teams.

Because of a deliberate re-conditioning program for 22 selected All Blacks that kept them out of the Super 14 professional rugby competition for eight weeks, they have had a less than perfect start to test rugby for the year. However they have lost only one of the internationals this season, againt Australia in Melbourne three weeks ago. On Saturday the All Blacks struck back and beat the Aussies in the final game of the series which decided the Bledisloe Cup against Australia, and the Tri-Nations Cup between NZ, South Africa and Australia.

Despite the rhetoric emanating from Australia and South Africa, the All Blacks talked the talk and walked the walk - and put their money where their mouths were! They have been decisive in victory. The AB's machine will be rolling forward towards the Rugby World Cup in just over a month in France.


Part Two - The Women:

The men battle away at rugby, rugby league and soccer, while the women battle away at netball. Australia and the New Zealand Silver Ferns have been doing just that in the last week. A few days ago the Aussies 'kicked butt' and proclaimed themselves as the top dogs(no I'm not going there) and played again on Saturday night. Hey, Netball is not supposed to be a contact sport, you know? There were women flying around landing on their backsides as if they were playing indoor rugby. The Silver Ferns came back and took out the game in exra time after it was all tied up after regular time. Well done girls! They have their World Championships at Auckland later in the year. The Championships were taken off Fiji after their inane military coup a few months ago. That is a subject for another post at another time.


Part Three - The Rest:

All eyes were on the rugby and netball and the results of other sports were overshadowed.

The NZ Women's cricket team beat the Australian women.

The Phoenix men's soccer team beat the Sydney team 3-0 in a pre-season game.

The NZ Warriors had a good win against the West Tigers in the NRL - the National Rugby League Competion.

The New Zealand 'Tall Blacks' basketball team beat Venezuela in a series in NZ. NZ actually ranks number 12 in the world. Not the Aussies, but a team ranked well above them never the less.

Scott Dixon won his third consecutive race on the Indy Car circuit, on his 27th birthday, in the US - still running second in the competition

So that was our sporting weekend - Silver and Black equalled Gold.
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