Guess what?? Tomorrow's National Surfing Day! Yes that's right there's a day dedicated to surfing in New Zealand based on all the goodness that is riding waves. Get out to your local, even if the weather is terrible and the water's slightly chilly, just do it. Take a mate, spread the good vibes and head along to surfingnz.co.nz to check out where you can take part in lessons and events, but at the very least just get out and give it twirl!
It's pretty convenient then that two of our best surfers are currently knee deep in the Vans World Cup, with qualification for the World Tour on the line. Billy Stairmand and Ricardo Christie have performed pretty well so far, putting themselves in the position where qualification for the tour is now within their grasp. They both dominated their heats and were due to compete today, but conditions weren't playing ball so we'll have to wait until tomorrow - think the surfing gods have something planned for National Surfing Day here!
Nice work from Auckland City FC who drew with Uzbekistan a few days back 0-0. Considering that the All Whites recently played the lads from Uzbekistan, it's pretty handy and City FC will be happy to have their Club World Cup campaign back on track after loosing to Team Wellington. Yeah so try make sense of this - the All Whites lost to Uzbekistan 3-1, City FC lost to Team Welly 4-1 and City FC got a draw with Uzbekistan! Funky.
Ryan de Vries had the only real chance for Auckland with a boomer of a shot, but a 0-0 draw offered up some encouraging signs for Auckland City. Tamati Williams was also pretty handy for the Aucklanders in goal, snuffing out some fine efforts from the Uzi's (lol?) to keep Auckland's clean sheet in tact. Now they need to get another decent result against Moroccan side Moghreb Tetouan, which will be a bit of a mission as it's in Morocco but hey we like being the underdog don't we?
Low key NRL news - Matt McIlwrick looks set to join the Sydney Roosters from the Canberra Raiders, which is relevant because he's a Kiwi! McIlwrick has been a solid member of the Junior Kiwis throughout his time with the Raiders Under 20's side, but battled to get a start with the Raiders. He's a hooker who has spent a fair amount of time at lock as well and he'll sit behind Jake Friend at the Roosters, who needed a second string hooker after Matt Srama back flipped on his deal to leave the Titans. Chuuuur.
Joseph Parker is back in action this weekend fighting Irineu Beato Costa Junior. First of all, I thought Brazilians opted for the one-word-name, this guy's got four!? I'm going to settle with Beato, it sounds cool. Parker's in action against Beato which will mark the end of a pretty intense stretch for Parker as he's had a bunch of fights in a short period of time. It's not only the fights, it's the preparation, the training camps and the level of intensity that he's training at that will all be pretty new for Parker. It'll be interesting to see how he looks given the hard work he has put in this year - we'll either see him relish the opportunity and look fresh, eager to finish the year in style, or he might look a wee bit sluggish.
Either way, it's hugely important. He's getting used to what needs to be done and looks to be taking all of it in his stride, remember he's still very much learning about the industry and what being a professional truly means. We always have complete faith in Parker here at the Nichey Niche, so no doubt he'll handle the business. Hopefully their fight goes better than this one ... anyone else think Anthony Watts may not have dislocated his shoulder??????
Lastly, the joke that is the America's Cup. Yes, it's a joke. It looks like it's going to be in Bermuda for shit's sake! I'm not opposed to the government forking out funding for Team New Zealand's bid, but in the past they have done so because they get so much in return - tourism bucks and a nice glossy image of New Zealand shared around the world. But what's if our government can't even come close to helping Team NZ compete with the bigger, badder sailing teams from around the world? There's plenty of sports throughout Aotearoa that could use that cash.