Brodie Rettalick, we salute you. You've been named the best rugby player in New Zealand and it's well deserved. Somehow, you go above and beyond what's asked of you as a lock and without you I doubt the All Blacks would have the same punch and oomph. It's weird because Rettalick's rise has been similar to Kieran Read's, just slowly progressing and then exploding by just, well doing the same things really. You don't expect to see a lock as athletic as Rettalick roaming around the field, hell you take a look at Rettalick and athletic isn't even the first word that comes to mind! Rettalick's play reflects the way the All Blacks go about their business - there's a solid foundation of straight up and down rugby, then there's the cream on top which makes them nearly impossible to contain and break down. The rugby world is Rettalick's oyster and hopefully we'll see him blossom.
Auckland City FC, we salute you. On behalf of New Zealand Football and the semi-pro football teams competing in the ASB Premiership, we salute you. City FC beat that Morrocan team in a rather dramatic penalty shootout and will pocket some of their $1.3milly in prize money. The rest of that money will be shared around the land, gosh we're such a generous bunch as New Zealanders aren't we? :)
Next up for Auckland City are El Setif, African champions from Algeria which will be another interesting contest. You'd have to imagine that the Aucklanders are feeling good, good enough to take on Real Madrid I'd say so El Setif should be no worries. Keep an eye out for this clash on Sunday, there's also the possibility that Auckland City take on the Western Sydney Wanderers down the track should the stars align. Now, winning that game would be better than the extra cash they'll earn from progressing further in the tournament. Wait, why is this all about money?
Valerie Adams, we salute you ... again! There is no way in hell that any track and field event at the Olympics should ever be removed. You can fiddle all you like with the events on the fringe, you can try to find the best money making formula and you can try to make the Olympics more exciting or whatever by introducing fresh sports, but track and field is sacred. Every time the Olympics rolls around, you know you're in for a treat as you can to sit and watch a variety of track and field events, the purest form of athletic pursuits that have been around for yonks. You get to witness the best, on the biggest stage which we don't really get in between the Olympics and outside of the Commonwealth Games. These events are the foundation of the Olympics, so it's good to hear the Queen of New Zealand, Queen Val standing up and leading the fight.
Many people rip in to the IPL for ruining cricket, but I've always been the opposite and we saw another example this week of why I like it. Ricky Ponting was named coach of Mumbai, his first major move in to coaching following the likes of Stephen Fleming as players who have slipped in to IPL coaching positions without any real coaching experience. It's great as it gives these guys a pathway to do something after their playing career and having such great players get a coaching opportunity will be a huge boost for Mumbai's young players.
There was a wee launch thing for the NRL Nines, with teams revealing their jerseys! Crash! Kapow! Cracker Jack! I love a good jersey reveal! No, they're stupid. But hey, I like the singlet idea.