The topic of the week at the Nichey Niche offices has been the trans-Tasman rivalry. We love it and as the Wildcard pointed out on our podcast (have a geeze here), while South Africa offer an intense contest on the rugby pitch, there's just something about playing against Australia. The All Blacks will face the Wallabies on Sunday and our BLACKCAPS are preparing to face the Aussies in the cauldron of Test cricket; life as a trans-Tasman rivalry lover is great.
Almost. These Aussies are getting a bit weird though.
I don't care about their endless banter regarding first and foremost the Rugby World Cup final and then the cricket. That's all part of the fun and beating Australia in whatever sport simply wouldn't be as good without Australia's big mouth, yet the Aussies have left the good vibes out of one of the tran-Tasman rivalry's greatest two-three weeks.
David Gallop, leader of the Football Federation Australia is still talking his shit about the Wellington Phoenix. Instead of extending a welcoming hand to the Phoenix and football fans across Aotearoa, Gallop continues to run through a variety of weak reasons as to why the Phoenix's claim for a 10-year A-League licence was rejected. The lack of any convincing argument as to why the Phoenix should be booted out of the A-League results in me connecting the dots to the point where I'm like: 'you're an Aussie dick'.
Shout out to some of you Aussies though, I like quite a lot of you, especially those of ya'll who are supporting the Phoenix through this tough divorce/break up (the A-League's a bitch/douche bag who has expressed their affection for you to the point where you think it's real, only for he/she to change their mind. Yup, cheers for that). Apparently the FFA want another Sydney team, which comes after Gallop apparently told A-League clubs that the Phoenix are wanted in the A-League and that there won't be other teams popping up, thus cutting into established fan-bases. Wait, what's gonna happen now? Another A-League team in Sydney to dilute the Sydney footballin' fan-bases of Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers? Geez David, you're mumbling and fumbling your way through this aren't ya?
Russell Packer, former Warrior and quasi-St George Dragon got into some mischief when he left the Warriors, criminal mischief. Packer has worked hard to better himself and with the Dragons, despite not being allowed to play in the NRL, Packer has been busy spreading the good vibes to show the NRL that he is worthy at another shot.
The NRL finally agreed, which took ages and could be another sign of Aussie dickishness but they want to play it safe so whatever. Yet now the Australian Government, in all their deporting rage have piped up and said that Packer could be deported as he committed a crime in Australia and was charged in Australia. The Aussies have stepped up their love for deportation recently which is weird - each to their own though - and while I would find it much more beneficial to allow Packer to pursue his career and to further his rehabilitation via sport, the Australian Government don't quite share my love for good vibes.
It seems that Australia doesn't share my love for good vibes.
Packer could be left up shit's creek - the Warriors might not be able to snap him up and his only option could be England.
The best way to bounce back from general Aussie dickishness is to beat them up on the sports field. The best opportunity to do that is Sunday morning, oh you bacon and egg filled, coffee guzzling, glorious Sunday morning. Don't tell anyone, but I have had a bit of a crush on the Wallabies this year. It's mainly because of Michael Cheika - I just like really good coaches and Cheika has swiftly turned the Wallabies around after an absolutely manic 2014. Up until Cheika's appointment, the Wallabies were laughable which was great because laughing at Australians is great, yet now Cheika has shit sussed.
It's a Rugby World Cup final, so of course there are great match ups across the park #Duh. Sure I'm a little worried about David Pocock. Sure Ben Smith won't be able to win aerial contests as easily as he has up against Israel Folau. Sure Bernard Foley has turned out to be a slick job-doer. Sure Will Genia has bounced back to be one of the best halfbacks in the world, second only to Aaron Smith. Sure the Wallabies have an Argentinian scrum coach. Sure the Wallabies also love to throw the footy around and entertain.
Sure, all of the above worries me a little but I think I have fallen victim to Australian propaganda as the thing that worries me the most is just how battle hardened the Wallabies are. In my usual scouring of Australian media over the past few months, the one constant has been pictures and stories of brutal training sessions where the players bash each other, blood flows and coach Cheika gets involved. Cheika has instilled this level of competition, brutality and intensity in the Wallabies that has been lacking for almost 10 years, that's what worries me the most.
My best case scenario for the RWC final is that the All Blacks win and Daniel Carter plays a blinder. Richie McCaw is the man, but my guy is Dan Carter and after an up and down back-end to his career, I wanna see Carter dazzle running the footy, delivering crisp passes/offloads and controlling the game with his boot.
A worst case scenario would be ... well a last-minute loss and semi-heavy defeat in which the result is a formality with 10-15 minutes to go are equally as bad ... and watching Stephen Moore lifting the trophy would be shit. I respect you Mr Moore, but fair-dinkum, you're the epitome of an Aussie.
Big shouts to Steven Adams who played his first game of the 2015/16 NBA season against the San Antonio Spurs. Oklahoma City Thunder got the win and Adams put up 30 minutes, 6 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block. Good from you Stevie.
Oooh, big shouts to Jarrod Kenny as well. Kenny's a kiwi lad playing for Perth in the ANBL and I was watching Perth play Melbourne last night which had Kenny lining up against Chris Goulding who is one of Australia's best basketballers. Melbourne won, yet Kenny played well and I'll try keep tabs on Kenny's fortunes throughout the season. Kenny played 29 mins and had 5 points, 2 steals and 2 rebounds.
Spare a thought for our kiwi cricketers who, at the hand of some Aussies, endured a long day in the field yesterday. In their last warm up game before the first Test, the BLACKCAPS watched Aaron Finch hit 214 and Ryan Carters hit 156 as a Cricket Australia XI enjoyed a leisurely day at the crease, finishing on 376/0.