Brisbane Broncos will again supply their NRLW Championship wahine to Aotearoa's Kiwi Ferns, even though there's a whole new crop of Broncos #KiwiNRLWahine that took the Broncos to back to back success.
Joseph Manu and Zane Tetevano will again put Tokoroa on the map, while Raiders duo Joseph Tapine and Jordan Rapana will rep Wellington in the NRL Grand Final.
In comparing last year's NRLW campaign to this year's, Aotearoa Warriors doubled their number of wins and missed out on a Grand Final via points differential.
The annual Junior Kiwis fixture is upon us and that can only mean that it's time to Meet The Junior Kiwis for 2019.
NZ Warriors aren’t quite sharing the play-making duties as an NRLW should, Brisbane Broncos are the best in the competition with immense contributions from their #KiwiNRL wahine and Maitua Feterika is leading the Dragon up the guts.
Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Isaac Liu face off against Jesse Bromwich and Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Brandon Smith’s getting big minutes and Aotearoa should be fizzing to see Canberra Raiders #KiwiNRL crew dominate the Rabbitohs.
A re-vamped Junior Kiwis wider squad was named last week, then trimmed down to a squad-squad for their upcoming fixture against Australian Schoolboys.
No tackle busts, just post-contact-metres for Kiwi Ferns/Broncos half Raecene McGregor and Aotearoa Warriors wahine did what the Warriors men didn’t want to do and got busy out of dummy half.
Two of the most exciting #KiwiNRL halves in Jahrome Hughes and Dylan Brown will line up against each other, while Brandon Smith will be mandatory viewing this weekend after quiet game in the Storm’s loss to Raiders.
Aotearoa Warriors wahine grabbed another win over Sydney Roosters in their first game of NRLW and while it came via solid performances across the park, the rise of Canterbury's Charntay Poko hit another level with a commanding effort in the halves.
One would assume that it's a case of 'problem solved' now that Tonga's rugby league team has a new coach in Frank Endacott, along with fresh coaching staff around Endacott.
NRL Finals have finally come around, popping up to save us from the plodding regular season which honestly feels like it's a wee bit too long.
Georgia Hale is going to be the smallest middle forward in NRLW, Charntay Poko could make a hefty impact in her NRLW debut and then there is the #KiwiNRLWahine at the Dragons who are mandatory viewing.
Plenty of young #KiwiNRL talent under the Finals microscope this weekend; Marata Niukore, Dylan Brown, Briton Nikora, Braden Hamlin-Uele, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Joseph Tapine, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Jahrome Hughes, Brandon Smith and Joseph Manu.
The only word to describe Aotearoa Warriors right now is weird and they will thankfully wrap up their 2019 season this weekend, while Canterbury Cup and Jersey Flegg couldn't crack finals footy so they are already chillin'.
Ngaruawahia’s Morgan Harper is named to make his debut for the Bulldogs, two prospects from St Pauls are close to cracking NRL footy for Newcastle Knights and it’s an almighty #KiwiNRL clash between Benji Marshall and Shaun Johnson for a taste of Finals footy.
Plenty of buzz has been hovering around the young forwards at Brisbane Broncos, none of whom have genuine #KiwiNRL ties other than Payne Haas spending time with Aotearoa Warriors earlier in his youth.
Offering an opinion on any type of drama at Mt Smart is a tedious task, even more so when Aotearoa Warriors aren't offering anything on the field to genuinely discuss.
NRLW is approaching and there have been a few warm up nuggets to explore as the four teams prepare for the second installment of NRLW.
Not only are they bringing in a new manager but basically three-quarters of the squad are new as well which is mental to think about – especially since there was similar player turnover when Mark Rudan took over as well. Two fresh starts in two years… Alex Rufer must feel like a grizzled veteran at this point.
Qualifying for major tournaments through the Oceania region is a rather fortunate situation for New Zealand Football to be in, opening up so many of our youth teams to the opportunity to test themselves against some of the world’s best. And a couple times lately that test has been graded a majestic pass mark – thinking specifically of the U17 women and U20 men over the last 12 months or so.
With five minutes to go in a routine 4-1 win over VVV-Venlo, something substantial happened. It was just before they scored the fourth goal but the win was already in the bag and coach Mark van Bommel made his third and final substitution, replacing midfielder Erick Gutiérrez with some guy called Ryan Thomas.
After the world’s longest offseason, the new A-League season finally begins in less than two weeks, and with it comes an eleventh franchise, an expansion team, the dastardly and nefarious Western United.
Big Shaq moods at this time of the year? That can only mean one thing: the Loons are going to the playoffs. For the first time in franchise history they’ll be playing postseason footy following a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City.
Ask and ye shall receive! No need for pessimism here because the 2019-20 ISPS Handa Premiership draw has been released with plenty of time to spare, 83 games across five and a half months before we crown a new national champion.
Last time I wrote about the chaos that so many teams find themselves in as managers make way and players move on. This time I wanna take a peek at some of the player movement that’s been happening as we begin to make sense of all that chaos.
It was a while in coming but then once that first goal of the season rustled rewardingly into that net, Chris Wood didn’t have to wait long for a second. His last Premier League goal came on 14 April against Cardiff City. After waiting 160 days between strikes he only had to wait four minutes and fifteen seconds for the next one.
Exploiting their status as the only professional club in Aotearoa and tapping into that production line – of which they were already a major part – just seems like the natural antidote… but then it’s understandable that it took the copious remuneration of the Sarpreet Singh transfer to tip that one over the top.
Starting this week with Erin Nayler and her Bordeaux crew because taking any possible risk of them sliding under the radar would be a crime. This team has started the season so strongly and up against Montpellier, the club that beat them to third last season, they laid down another statement of intent with their third straight win to begin the new campaign.
The New Zealand U23 men just came through a couple friendly games against Australia and in a week they take on the best of Oceania for a spot at the 2020 Olympics. Back in July an U23 selection went to Samoa and won the Pacific Games. Busy times indeed for Des Buckingham
New season, new club, new colours for Ria Percival. Same city though, swapping the claret and blue of West Ham for the lilywhite of Tottenham Hotspur. And after playing right back for most of last season she was named in a prominent defensive midfield role for their Super League opener away against Chelsea at a well stacked Stamford Bridge.
Jeremy Brockie signs with the Team of Choice on a season long loan deal where he’ll reunite with coach Eric Tinkler who got some of his best footy out of him at SuperSport United and who else happens to be on the books at Maritzburg these days? A couple kiwi Premiership veterans in Dan Morgan and Micah Lea’alafa.
Most countries don’t really care about Olympic football, that’s the reality. They’re not too bothered if they don’t qualify and they don’t send proper squads even if they do. Usually that’s the way it goes.
The All Whites needed a new manager after Fritz Schmid stepped down in surprising yet underwhelming circumstances and they needed a manager for now. Not some idealised NZ Football marketing version of where this All Whites team is, not the version of a couple years ago coming off a run of meaningful games, but this team in its current state right now.
There it is, the official debut. Wasn’t from the start but after Lineth Beerensteyn had given Bayern the lead against Frankfurt in their first home game of the season, the Dutch forward’s strike partner Jovana Damnjanovic picked up an injury and needed to be replaced. This was in the 35th minute and despite it being a striker who came off it was left back Ali Riley who was introduced.
With the FFA Cup game in the rearview, the preseason process is back on track for the Welly Nix. That means a bunch of friendlies against local sides and it means a bunch of chat coming out of training sessions about how good the lads are looking and how well they’re adapting to what the gaffer’s asking.
So the Courage didn’t play an NWSL game this week… because they were a little busy with the International Champions Cup. Back to back games over the weekend and it started with a scrap against Manchester City, who despite being in preseason, named a team full of internationals.
You kids out there might not realise this… but before there was Sarpreet Singh there was Ryan Thomas. A kiwi footy player transferring to a title contending team in a major European league. That’s a bit of a facetious way to start there but point being: Ryan Thomas’s move to PSV Eindhoven was a massively significant move.
Coming into the new season following on from some tantalising preseason form, it took Chris Wood just quarter of an hour to have the ball in the back of the net. Only drama was that it didn’t count. Ashley Barnes had been offside in the lead up so Woody’s simple tap-in was rubbed off.
All you need to know about Christian McCaffrey is that at the rate he’s going, he’s on pace to record 2771 yards from scrimmage with 22 total touchdowns in 2019. The all-time record for yards from scrimmage in a season is 2509 yards (Chris Johnson in 2009). That’s incredible.
The state of the Oklahoma City Thunder has changed drastically over the last few months but all the words that are spoken and all the deals that get made and all the hypotheticals… nothing quite hits home like that first opportunity to see the team together in uniform ahead of a new season.
Here we are at the quarter stage of the season already and still absolutely nothing makes sense. Except for the Patriots, unfortunately. But apart from them we’ve got backup quarterbacks outplaying their starters, we’ve got Green Bay winning games with Aaron Rodgers playing within himself…
Remember like two weeks ago when Corey Webster wanted to take up that offer to play in Turkey and the Breakers didn’t wanna let him go because as a local player of the skill level that Webby is it was just impossible to replace him this close to the start of the season? Yeah well that problem doesn’t exist for import players.
Well… I s’pose I’d better talk about Daniel Jones now, hadn’t I? The G-Men rookie staring down a 28-10 deficit on the road with his star running back on crutches on the sideline and the bloody guy only goes and leads his team back to win 32-31.
We do know one thing for sure and that’s that with the plethora of draft picks that they acquired in those two trades – which could see them with multiple first round picks for the next five years if things break right – this is a team that is ready to embrace a rebuild. The cupboard is stocked full.
Tell you one thing, there’s been no shortage of drama around the Breakers organisation in recent times. Good drama, bad drama, and ugly drama. A little bit of everything to keep everyone engaged.
So no one told you life was gonna be this way / QB’s a joke, coach’s broke, your pass rush DOA / It’s like your offence is stuck in second gear / When it hasn’t been your play, your drive, your game, or even your year…
Week two of the season is always a notorious one, it’s where the overreactions from week one really sizzle and the convictions of those preseason predictions are really tested. The clever pundit will take that first round with a grain of salt – we don’t know the context of those performances yet because we don’t know which teams are good or not. Most tend not to though.
If you take it in isolation then it was just a pensive moment. Dillon Boucher, a legend of both Breakers basketball and New Zealand basketball, a multiple championship winner whose jersey hangs in the rafters for this club, had resigned as general manager of the New Zealand Breakers.
Oh yes. That is Tall Blacks basketball right there. Two more games to determine their exact finishing position and there just so happened to be a bit on the line as well with a spot in the Olympic qualifying tournaments next year to slip into the shopping cart as well if possible.
Bit late on the ol’ picks because the Quarterback Rankings took ages to do and hey I’m a busy fella after all. So have a read of that thing first because it’s got lots of words in it. Lots of words and lots of numbers too. Sequential numbers, just the way you like them. Also got a few of them pesky opinions too which is what you’re here for but I used heaps of them up over there already.
The result wasn’t the important thing as the Tall Blacks faced Greece in their final first round game at this basketball World Cup. It was a game where the winner would advance and the loser would fall into the classification rounds but when you’re the heavy underdog coming up against the NBA MVP then you don’t have the luxury of knowing that a positive performance would equate to a positive result.
The annual extravaganza is back for 2019 and you’d better believe there are fiery takes and wild opinions.
This was their chance. This was the one they could really target. Lose this and the other two wouldn’t even matter, a win and they’d keep alive any legit hopes of advancing beyond the first group stage.
So when the Tall Blacks came up against Brazil in their World Cup opener it didn’t matter how well they’d gone in their extended preparations. Those preparations are just ways of ensuring they’re at their best as they try to bridge the talent gap that already exists between them and their opponents.
So here’s a thing about some of the major storylines and events that have taken place since the 2018 NFL season concluded (the Patriots beat the Rams 13-3 in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history, by the way. In case you’d forgotten).
It’s rare that something unexpected happens within elite sports that are so delicately devoured by fans and media alike… but the retirement of NFL quarterback Andrew Luck was one of those stunning moments that instantly shake you to the core.
Last week they polished off a couple games against Japan, this week the Tall Blacks got some very useful preparation in against the might of Canada… who may have won both but the two games served up drastically different vibes for the Tall Blacks going into the World Cup.
Dunno about you but I’m getting pretty pumped about this basketball World Cup. Most teams are amassing as we speak, getting in the final licks that they hope will give them that crucial one percent extra, with a tad over two weeks to go until the big show tips off.
Things came kinda easy for Joseph Parker early on in his professional career. He made his name in Aotearoa beating up on pensioners in front of drunk corporate crowds and then just as he was winding the corner into actual relevance, the lineal champ Tyson Fury was going through a complete breakdown which would lead to him vacating his belts.
A new coach and new contracts usher in a delightful period of cricketing antics for Aotearoa's White Ferns, with World T20 and Women's World Cup looming on the horizon.
From sometimes wicket-keepers to those who strictly keep their cricketing business behind the stumps, there isn't any kind of shortage of kiwi wicket-keepers who dabble in run-scoring.
As of early Saturday morning (September 21), Glenn Phillips leads all run-scorers in the 2019 Caribbean Premier League.
Aotearoa's Blackcaps slipped up in the third T20I vs Sri Lanka, yet they leave Sri Lanka with a drawn Test series and a T20I series win.
It makes sense that with only a few kiwi wahine playing in the 2019 Women's T20 Super League, the best performing kiwi would be Rachel Priest who has and will continue to be overlooked for White Ferns cricket.
Hamish Rutherford has been called into the Blackcaps T20I squad and thus, his journey in and out of Blackcaps groups continues in rather niggly fashion.
Northern Districts Knights will once again contribute plenty to Aotearoa's Blackcaps, however their domestic troopers are set for a rather intriguing summer across all formats.
Another T20 game and another classy knock from Ross Taylor. The resurgence of King Rossco since that infamous eye surgery has been well documented on these Niche Cache pages, although primarily zoned in on his delightful work in Test and ODI cricket.
Otago Volts have a wee it more balance between their domestic troopers and youngsters compared to other domestic cricket squad for the 2019/20 season, yet there is still plenty of youthful funk to enjoy from the deep south.
Latham might be a very useful wicket-keeper/batsman on the ODI scene but chuck him in the Test stuff and he’s a world class opening bat. And just in case you didn’t already know that, he confirmed it with a top notch 154 in the second Test, helping to set up an innings victory.
A World T20 tournament is looming on the horizon and Aotearoa's Blackcaps are in full planning and preparation mode with a T20 series vs Sri Lanka about to get underway.
Spark up that buckie in honour of Test cricket folks because we've had a couple doozies in recent days, heck even West Indies hosting India looks pretty fun.
Canterbury will roll out another settled group of cricketers for the 2019/20 domestic season and that means that a hefty contingent of younger lads will rally around OG veteran Andrew Ellis.
As Jofra Archer tormented Australia in his first Test, in his typically chill way, thoughts of what could be added to the Blackcaps Test bowling group started to wiggle through the clutter.
We have waited a long time for Test cricket to have some kind of context wrapped around it and now, after the first Test vs Sri Lanka, Aotearoa's Blackcaps have got their Test Championship campaign off to the worst start.
In exploring these domestic cricket contracted player lists ahead of the 2019/20 summer, I am three squads deep and can already double down on my hunch that kiwi cricket is in a great space in terms of a strong, talented contingent of young cricketers settling into domestic cricket.
In the current climate, there isn't a whole lot that can be described as 'solid' about Sri Lankan cricket and changes to their Test squad, under an interim coach set the scene for this intriguing Test series vs Aotearoa's Blackcaps
Sneaking under the cricketing radar has been the start of the 2019 Women's Super League T20 competition in England, where Aotearoa always has a steady presence.
Henry Shipley, Cole McConchie and Blake Coburn are enjoying a wonderful English summer playing club cricket and were nice enough to share some yarns with El Niche Cache.