Spare a drop of envy for Raphael Varane, who has already won four Champions Leagues and a World Cup and he’s only 25 years old. Some blokes have all the luck, aye…
Despite apparent interest from Australian NRL clubs, Tevita Satae has re-signed with Aotearoa Warriors for three more years and we now wait to see whether Simon Mannering and Issac Luke want to keep riding the Warriors waka.
We haven't seen Jesse Bromwich play for Aotearoa for over a year, we've barely seen the older Bromwich bro play NRL footy for Melbourne Storm this season.
In recent weeks, I have settled into the position as Aotearoa Warriors spiritual guru and an impressive win over Brisbane Broncos, in Brisbane only reinforces the need for such a perspective.
As LeBron James swung his sword of power and slid into Los Angeles Lakers folklore, Cameron Smith was kicking back during State of Origin, enjoying a couple days free time and playing games for Melbourne Storm during the Origin window for the first time in 15 years
The 2018 Aotearoa Warriors season has featured many weeks in which I approach the weekend's footy with great excitement, this week it's all nerves as the Warriors take on Brisbane Broncos.
Caleb Aekins will make his NRL debut at fullback for Penrith Panthers and he joins fellow Northlanders James Fisher-Harris and Corey Harawira-Naera in the Panthers team to face Cronulla Sharks. Plus, Jesse Bromwich is back for Melbourne Storm and Jordan Rapana is back for Canberra Raiders.
Sick of all the silly Australian State of Origin stuff? Never fear, the second annual #KiwiNRL Battle of Aotearoa is here to offer the ruthless territorial rugby league fix that kiwis are frothing for.
Leeson Ah Mau's return to Mt Smart and Aotearoa Warriors is now official, a three-year deal that will see Ah Mau leave St George Illawara Dragons after this season.
Unfortunately this week's notes start off the field, with Manly Sea Eagles hooker Manase Fainu finding himself in a spot of legal bother. At the other end of the spectrum, Fainu's 2017 Junior Kiwis captain Jarome Luai was on fire for Penrith Panthers in their win over Aotearoa Warriors.
Remember when Aotearoa Warriors won their first five games of the season? It was a long time ago and I don't bring that up as an example of how the Warriors have dramatically fallen away.
In one swoop, Brisbane Broncos snapped up five more #KiwiNRL wahine and filled their marquee signing quota for the Women's NRL .
Right now, this round, this weekend is probably the best time to play Penrith Panthers of any round of the NRL season.
Kodi Nikorima was a passenger to the Antony Milford show last week, Silivia Havili is now a middle forward for Canberra Raiders and Penrith Panthers Northland crew is back together.
Round 16 in the NRL saw a gang of different stars align to provide us with an incredibly funky weekend of #KiwiNRL footy.
The June 30 NRL transfer deadline saw Aotearoa Warriors make a couple of moves in the transfer market, all of which were bidding players haere ra on their next rugby league adventures.
Had Aotearoa Warriors won that game vs Cronulla Sharks, most likely by a single point, we could have chucked it in the gritty 'find a way to win' bucket.
One of the narratives that I've continuously rolled out in my Diary Of An Aotearoa Warriors Fan this season has been how greater depth has allowed the Warriors to absorb the ins and outs, mandatory ins and outs of an NRL season.
Will the Aotearoa Kiwis be in action this week? Penrith Panthers re-signed Nick Lui-Toso, Marata Niukore continues to be a positive for Parramatta Eels, we might finally see Manase Fainu get a crack for Manly Sea Eagles and Ofahiki Ogden is set to make his NRL debut for the Doggies.
Tonga waltzed into battle against Samoa as the favourites and more interestingly, the darlings of international rugby league.
Forget all the fluff around the Denver Test between Aotearoa and England, focus all your energies on what this game actually was and you'll a find a starting point.
Spare a drop of envy for Raphael Varane, who has already won four Champions Leagues and a World Cup and he’s only 25 years old. Some blokes have all the luck, aye…
Oh look, two more games, two more clean sheets and two more wins for Abby and the Courage. First off they pushed past Washington Spirit with a goal in each half, Debora first and then Jess McDonald, for a 2-0 win.
This team just looks like a World Cup winning team. It’s got star power and veteran leadership. Incredible young players that’ll help usher in the next era of international footy and a manager who had something big to prove.
Gareth Southgate’s English team stand out against those sides because of how refreshingly likeable they are. Who saw that coming, an endearing English team!?
Yeah okay then Ronnie, go ahead and try overshadowing the World Cup semi-final that you didn’t qualify for then. It didn’t work, mate. France vs Belgium was the be all and end all of football on this day. There’s no overshadowing the flippin’ World Cup, not even in Italy. Nice try but forget about it.
It all started with a like on Instagram. Not really, because by that time all the behind the scenes stuff had already been taken care of, but that was the first clue for the waiting public.
For the final time, Ali Riley strolled out in her FC Rosengård jerey. At home to Växjö in the last game before the Swedish league takes a break for a month, during which Ali officially joins Chelsea and will jump from midseason back to preseason over in England.
If the final four feels underwhelming then just go with it for the next week and see how you feel afterwards. Very few teams have ever won the World Cup by dominating from start to finish. Often teams start slow and build up while some just grind the whole way.
The Wellington Phoenix have a game in a few weeks. FFA Cup against Bentleigh Greens, a club from the Victorian Premier League, on August 7. Seems pretty early to be getting into the proper football and realistically it is.
Some people hate penalty shootouts. They think they’re too fickle or unfair. They think that penalty kicks don’t represent justice in a result after 120 minutes of stalemated football. Those people are wrong.
It wasn’t so long ago that the good old fashioned centre forward was all out of fashion. Spain was winning the World Cup and a couple Euros without one, Barcelona was winning everything at club level without one. But never fear because the 2018 World Cup has shown that the centre forward is making a comeback.
Just sneaking in under the deadline last week (an extended deadline thanks to these obscene World Cup kickoff times) was the breaking news that Ali Riley had agreed a transfer to Chelsea Football Club.
Andy Martin oversaw some very positive things in his time as CEO but there were simply too many clangers in there as well which has left the kiwi footy-loving public disillusioned with the state of NZ Football.
They were tactically awful in losing 1-0 to Mexico, needed a late screamer from Toni Kroos to beat Sweden 2-1 in injury time and then conceded twice at the appropriately-labelled death to lose 2-0 to South Korea.
Tommy Smith, Deklan Wynne and Mike Boxall all starting in the same game and spread out across the two defences… which murphy’s law dictated meant that there’d be a chuck of goals in this one.
And thus, people of the jury of public perception, I now present to you… the case for and against England as legitimate World Cup champion threats.
Having written pretty substantially about the exploits of NZ Football over the last few years, it was never likely that their press conference was going to offer any dramatic conclusions. Full credit to President Deryck Shaw and CEO Andy Martin for fronting up and answering some Qs but it’s not like they came armed with bombshells to drop.
Let’s see if we can get this all in proper order then. Andreas Heraf’s first tour in charge of the Football Ferns was in March where they played twice against Scotland (in Spain) and lost twice, both by 2-0 scorelines…
In the hour of darkness, in the time of need, that is when true heroes emerge. And it doesn’t get much darker than losing nine games in a row which was where the Colorado Rapids were at a week ago.
Something strange is happening. It could be early onset sleep deprivation from the World Cup but there appear to be positive vibrations emanating from the Wellington Phoenix.
Webster was always a good shot at getting back into the Summer League stuff after a fine season in Germany, his first as a pro since finishing up with Nebraska after four years. Playing for Fraport Skyliners he averaged 14.9 points, 3.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game while shooting 39.8% from deep and 48.0% from the field.
Look it was bad enough when they had four all stars in their starting lineup but adding DeMarcus Cousins on top of that? There’s never been a more talented starting five in the history of the league than Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Boogie Cousins.
LeBron James is a Laker… nope, not gonna believe it until they actually call his name on opening day and he strolls out there under the spotlight wearing the purple and gold and shakes Jack Nicholson’s hand on the way out.
The Tall Blacks are one step closer to partaking in the 2019 FIBA World Cup after taking care of business in their two home qualifiers over the last few days.
Not only did Paul George opt to stay in OKC but he laid it all down with a four-year $137m deal. Exactly a year after he was traded to the Thunder, he dropped the ol’ hancock on the dotted line and offered to stay.
The NBA leftovers, the wee gems you find tucked away in a $2 bin down the back of some dodgy suburban Salvation Army.
Remember the Los Angeles Lakers? You probably do, it’s rather hard to forget about them these days. For a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2012-13 season they sure do make a lot of noise.
Of course, Marksy being Marksy, he still managed to make a few moves both in terms of taking on chunky salary and picking up draftees. And it all began with a call from the Charlotte Hornets…
Heaps of great talent there and something to fit every need. But the story of the draft was the Dallas Mavericks trading up with the Atlanta Hawks to get their mitts on Luka Doncic.
Following on from the Corey Webster deal a few weeks back – Corey who is dropping 40+ in China these days – Kevin Braswell’s team has added their first two imports. Armani Moore is the first and Patrick Richard the second.
Please, please, please don’t be one of those silly people who thinks that Steven Adams has some kind of obligation to play for the Tall Blacks and that refusing to do so is some kind of national scandal.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Golden State Warriors won another championship and all that. Good for them, hopefully it’s their last for ages. Which… might not be as implausible as it seemed watching the Dubs thump the Cleveland Cavaliers in four.
ESPN analyst Kevin Van Valkenburg recently decided to draw the ire of an entire nation with an inferiority complex by picking on our national treasure and the apparent pinnacle of masculinity… the All Blacks.
It’s always seemed a little off that Aotearoa hasn’t had more of a history with baseball. We’ve been outstanding at softball and cricket but baseball has never quite caught on, with only a handful of professional players in our history.
Oh do you want a LeBron James article? Maybe something that captures the incredible achievements that he’s made throughout this season and into the playoffs, somehow dragging what’s now regarded as one of his worst ever supporting casts into the NBA Finals.
Imagine being an NFL owner. All that money and all that success and you’re so terrified of your own players leaning on one knee rather than standing on two feet for a couple minutes every week that you come right out and ban the act altogether.
Corey Webster is back. It’s the biggest move the Breakers have made yet in this rather dramatic offseason, bringing back a bloke who has won three championships with the franchise, a player who was the MVP of the NZ NBL for the undefeated Wellington Saints in 2017.
There’s been a shadow hanging over this Cleveland Cavaliers season from the very start and that shadow takes the shape of LeBron James’ impending free agency… whatever shape that happens to be.
The Philadelphia 76ers are pretty good these days, if you didn’t hear. Aussie Ben Simmons is out there dishing the ball around and thumping massive dunks down while Cameroonian Joel Embiid can post up on anyone and his trash talk is already at an All Star level.
Plenty of stuff happened at the Oklahoma City Thunder this past season but you know Steven Adams is just gonna do his job no matter who his teammates are.
Michael Venus did not win a second career grand slam title this weekend. He and South African doubles partner Raven Klaasen went to five sets in the Men’s Doubles final at Wimbledon but fell to Americans Jack Sock and Mike Bryan in the championship match.
All is well that ends all good, right? A win for Aotearoa in their third ODI against England wraps up a tour to Ireland and England that was solid, but under-whelming for the White Ferns.
Despite switching formats, it was the same result for Aotearoa's White Ferns against England and their run on getting smoked by the Poms continues.
Other than the big name movements of Neil Wagner, Colin de Grandhomme and Jimmy Neesham, the 2018/19 domestic cricket contracts lists were a tad underwhelming.
In the White Ferns loss to England, in the final of their T20 tri-series, the lack of class when it matters most, perhaps translating into a lack of killer instinct popped up again and that's exactly where the frustration with the White Ferns and Blackcaps sits for me.
Aotearoa's White Ferns beat South Africa and lost to England on their day of back to back T20 games, with everything going as expected and now setting up a 'final' between the kiwis and England.
Apologies for the brief Kiwi County Tour hiatus, but I'm back behind the wheel of the KCT bus and currently dropping the lads off at their respective T20 Blast teams.
Aotearoa's White Ferns are currently in England, in the midst of a T20 tri-series with England and South Africa.
Foundations have been laid for the new coach and there is also an opportunity to sprinkle a new twist to the Blackcaps, which makes this job a fantastic gig for a coach.
Upon the retirement of Blackcaps coach Mike Hesson, there was a swell of appreciation and overwhelming success as many folk reflected on Hesson's tenure.
Someone ring up Bob Arum and check if he’s doing okay. Might wanna send Bryant Jennings a care package while you’re at it too. Literally a day after those two were talking publically about a matchup with Joseph Parker like it’s all done and dusted, Parker has rocked up in London instead where he’s announced he’ll take on Dillian Whyte on July 28.
Rightio then, who saw that one coming? Mike Hesson has resigned from the Blackcaps coaching gig, effective at the end of July, with a year still to run on his contract which would have taken him to the end of the 2019 World Cup. Bit of a bombshell, that one.
It’s been a few minutes since we last heard from Joseph Parker. After suffering his first defeat as a professional, that commendable but comfortable unanimous decision loss to Anthony Joshua at the end of March, Smokin’ Joe’s been keeping it very much on the down low.
Jeetan Patel and Tom Latham came up against each other as captains, Ross Taylor’s still knocking runs around and Matt Henry is backing up his County campaign nicely.
Tom Latham is captaining Durham and scoring runs, while Ross Taylor is also showing his class for Nottinghamshire and James Franklin has emerged as Middlesex’s finisher. There’s a lot more runs than wickets on the Kiwi County Tour bus as the Royal London One-Day Cup rolls on.
Jimmy Neesham is off to Wellington Firebirds and the Firebirds may have pulled off the best bit of business in domestic cricket’s winter transfer market.
What do the moves of Colin de Grandhomme and Neil Wagner to Northern Districts Knights mean for Auckland Aces and Otago Volts?
Aotearoa’s domestic cricket circuit was shaken up with Northern Districts Knights snapping up Colin de Grandhomme and Neil Wagner. Forget the fantasy, what does this actually mean for the Knights?
Ross Taylorgot his Royal London One Day Cup off to a slick start, Lord Jeetz was at his wicket-taking best and Matt Henry? Well, new format but ain’t nothing changed with Matt Henry.
It was almost the Miracle of Malahide. Ireland’s first ever Test match and after being bowled out for 130 and forced to follow on, they somehow recovered to set Pakistan a half-decent target as Kevin O’Brien scored a superb 118 in the second innings.