Monday Crumbs

Where else do we kick of the ol' crumbly Monday Crumbs that crumble deliciously in your fingertips than in our own backyard, or pool. The National Surfing Championships got underway at Piha yesterday and this week is going to be one big surf fest on the West Coast, keeping the momentum flowing after Ricardo Christie qualified for the World Surfing League. 

Veteran of the kiwi surf scene, Daniel Kereopa along with fellow veterans Liam Joyce, Marc Moore and Richard Dowsett all won their first round heats in a collective high 5 for veteran status. Some impressive action from fourteen year old Kehu Butler in the Open Men's Division also caught the eye as surfing fans got a chance to see who was eager to step up and continue to push surfing in Aotearoa to new heights. Butler had earlier competed in the Under 18's Division and to put his effort in the Open Men's in some context, his heat score of 17 was the best of the day in the Open Men's with Kereopa's 13.83 the next best. Not too shabby from the young lad huh? 

 If you're in Auckland, head on out to Piha, I mean it's probably University holidays or something for ya and you can kill a few birds with one stone watching some sport, chilling on the beach and you can probably go for a dip yourself. Lovely.

It was a rough start for Auckland City FC in the ASB Premiership as they got back in to the swing of life back on earth. They fell to the Wellington Phoenix, the B squad version 3-1 with the Phoenix continuing to impress and will be hunting down their Team Wellington rivals with Team Wellington sitting in first and the Phoenix in second. The Phoenix did the damage at Kiwitea Street going up 3-0 pretty swiftly to shock the Aucklanders while Team Wellington also handed it to a bunch of Aucklanders, beating Waitakere 3-1. That's despite the lads from Wellington playing much of the second half with 9 men as both James Musa and Bill Robertson.

Elsewhere Canterbury United and Hawkes Bay United battled out a 1-1 draw, Southern United fell to WaiBOP United 0-1 with the Wanderers enjoying a bye. The ASB Premiership ladder is pretty tight besides Team Wellington who are 5 points clear at the top, but only one point seperates the Phoenix in second and Waitakere in sixth.

Let's all take a minute to thank the NBA and the EPL for opening up the player market at the same time, it's a thing of beauty to see teams scrambling to add to their squads to try find an edge. In the NBA, the Western Conference is stacked and teams are out to find that missing piece to ensure that they not only make the playoffs but that they go deep and possibly emerge victorious. 

We've already seen the Oklahoma City Thunder add Dion Waiters to their roster to give them a hot hand and the Memphis Grizzlies have also added a hot hand to get them some more scoring with Jeff Green traded from the Boston Celtics. It's kind of desperate as this is the chance for teams to cut through the clutter, but it all pales in comparison to the desperation of the Cleveland Cavaliers who replaced Dion Waiters with JR Smith and Iman Shumpert as well as sneering a big man in Timofey Mozgov. It's getting juicy on both sides of the NBA, lovely.

In the EPL, well every team is being linked to every major player. That plus the fact that the news/gossip/sources/rumours can't be relied on at all makes trying to decipher the bullshit from the real pretty hard to do. It does look like Wilfred Bony will leave Swansea to Manchester City as City try to chase down Chelsea at the top of the table. Expect Chelsea to make an equal move as they try to compete on a PR/positive buzz level. 

That's cool and all, but the race for the remaining two top 4 spots is way more interesting and I reckon the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal will be more desperate in their pursuit of hole-fillers. There's plenty of holes in each line up, but luckily for me United fell to Southampton over night, oh wait, that's a few points in the bag for the Saints who currently sit pretty in third! Arsenal had a solid 3-0 win over Stoke, but once again the most excitement for me will come in the battle for a Champions League spot. At least that's super competitive this season right?