It's hard not to get a little bit excited at the prospect of Trent Merrin becoming a New Zealand Warrior. With news emerging that the Warriors have made a big offer for Merrin's services, the ball is now in Merrin and his agent's court as well as the St George Dragons who may or may not match the Warriors offer.
The thing is that the Dragons probably won't as their previous offer of $1.65 milly for 3 years was scoffed at by Merrin's agent and the Dragons aren't in a realistic position to offer much more. They're being cautious with their salary cap and have unloaded players like Gerrard Beale, Kyle Stanley and one of the Morris lads to make some cap space, so it's pretty hard to see them matching an offer from the Warriors, but they might.
They might because Merrin is bloody good. He is exactly what the Warriors need, as many 'fans' get jiggy at the thought of Kieran Foran partnering Shaun Johnson what the Warriors really need is a forward. Interestingly, many pundits will label Merrin a prop but he has spent much of the past few seasons playing lock or as a third 'middle' forward. Now people, imagine a back row of Ryan Hoffman, Simon Mannering and Trent Merrin, that's why this is exciting.
The only reason the Warriors are being regarded as a strong suitor is because of the cash they're offering Merrin. That means a few things - the Warriors have plenty of cash, the Warriors are starting to spend that cash wisely or are at least keen to (it's no surprise that this comes with Andrew McFadden gaining more control in his first off season, building his own squad), but it also means that the Warriors probably won't be able to sign Foran as well as Merrin. I'd much rather have Trent Merrin, so all good baby baby.
But, Merrin's missus might not be keen because she's super babe Sally Fitzgibbon who is a super babe because she's a super surfer. The missus could be the key here.
But we love surfing so if Sally wants to hang 10 in Aotearoa, she's more than welcome and she can still represent Austraya. How about that? She's probably too cool to partake in our National Championship, unlike Billy Stairmand who has impressed over the last few days on his way to the Open Men's finals tomorrow. Stairmand will be joined by fellow favourite Maz Quinn. Stairmand breezed in to the finals while Quinn had to draw on his chi and the powers of the Wu Tang to get the score needed in the dying moments of his semi final.
Quinn and Stairmand will be the two to watch in the final, but with first timers Tane Wallis and Alex Dive hunting for a National Title things could get interesting. The Open Women's final will be contested between 18 year old Gabriella Samson, 16 year old Britt Kindred, 17 year old Dayna Story and relative 'veteran/grandma (jokes bro)' 27 year old Jessica Santorik who is a former champ. It will make for an awesome finals day tomorrow with two high quality surfers trying to fight off a few younger lads and each other for the Open Men's title while the ladies side will see some exciting young prospects go head to head. Santorik might have something to say about that though.
Big up big up to the Football Ferns, the national ladies footballin' team who defeated the 16th ranked Danish in Turkey. The Ferns won 3-2 after drawing 1-1 in their first match, thanks to goals from Ria Percival, Hannah Wilkinson and Annalie Longo who pegged a goal back after an early goal from Denmark, before going ahead only for Denmark to return the favour. Longo scored the winner in the second half to give the Ferns a well earned victory.
Michael Clarke reckons he can play on to the next World Cup and I agree. If he can stay healthy then there's no reason why Clarke continue to lead, well at least play for Australia for many years to come. There's nothing better than athletes continuing to charge on in their 30's, throwing mud at the norm that we've become accustomed to.
In saying that, thank Jah, Buddha, Allah and God that Brett Lee retired. Honestly.
Still not sold on Mayweather vs Manny and won't be until it's signed, sealed and delivered. For me it just shows where boxing is right now, we're all eagerly anticipating a fight that is 5 years too late. They're both still fine boxers, but where's the next wave of boxers demanding our attention?
Lastly, I'd watch out for the Socceroos at the Asian Cup if I were you. Not because they're awesome, but Australia could definitely go in to footballin' overdrive if the Socceroos continue this nice run. Australians, whether they be football fanatics or simple sport lovers and/or the media will fall in love if they haven't already.