It's Friday folks. Maybe you are wondering what ice tea and lemonade tastes like, cos I am...
1) I think I'm ready for the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals. Not because I'm over all these dumb pool games, they are just doing a great job of laying the platform for the knockout stages. I wouldn't be as excited as I am about the upcoming quarter-finals if it wasn't for such a good start to this World Cup and as of right now I think this is the best World Cup so far that I can remember. We've got a long way to go however and who knows, maybe the All Blacks just dominate the rest of this World Cup and the tournament goes down that route but I have a feeling that there's a few teams like South Africa, Australia, France and Ireland who will be eyeing up a sneaky Cup-snatching charge.
2) I think Ma'a Nonu is the epitome of an All Black. Sure, we have Richie McCaw and Dan Carter as well as a bunch of other players who you might view as 'typical' All Blacks but Nonu sums it all up for me. Remember when there was that kerfuffle because he said he wears (I think he still does, it kinda looks like it) eye-liner? It was ages ago and if you told me that there was an All Black who wore/wears eye-liner, then I'd probably assume that he was a bit of a dick. But Nonu is the opposite and has maintained his position alongside Conrad Smith and Carter thanks to his ability to keep improving and find new areas in his game to develop, which to me is a perfect reflection on the All Blacks. Also, foreigners might view Nonu and/or the All Blacks as having a signature style but in reality what makes Nonu/All Blacks so good is that they cover all the bases at a very high level.
3) I think the Breakers are glad the Rugby World Cup is on. The Breakers lost and looked reasonably poo in doing so - check the Wildcard's wrap of it in his Fast Break Report - but they are missing a few key men so we can't expect them to be quick out of the gates. Luckily for the Breakers, the start of the ANBL and A-League seasons have crept up on us thanks to the smorgasbord of sport we have to chose from and these games provide the perfect opportunity to dust the cobwebs off before the distractions slide away.
4) I think the Phoenix could be surprisingly good this season. Obviously no.3 also applies to the Phoenix but many people are just looking at the loss of Nathan Burns as a ball-busting departure for the 'Nix while I reckon they'll be all good. A lot of this hinges of Ernie Merrick's coaching ability - he's got a decent track record and I'm excited to see what Merrick has in store for us this season as he will have to switch things up slightly. Merrick needs to switch things up slightly as well with the A-League looking more competitive and it would be massively stink if the Nix didn't build on last season and do better this time around - regardless of Burns' departure.
5) I think a lot of the Phoenix's hopes will rest with the Roly-Sarpong combination. Well, I think it's just me who is keen as mustard to see these two Dutch fellas razzlin' and dazzlin' on the Cake Tin's lush grass in the Nix's midfield.
6) I think I love what Stephen Kearney has done with the pickle he found himself in with the Kiwis squad to tour England. Naming Adam Blair and Issac Luke as co-captains is the perfect answer to the conundrum caused by Simon Mannering deciding not to play and I also love Kearney's decision to give Jesse Bromwich a leadership role as well. Bromwich has the makings of a Kiwi great and this is another step up the ladder for him.
7) I think I love all the newbies in the Kiwis squad as well - Jordan Kahu, Tuimoala Lolohea, Curtis Rona, Kodi Nikorima, Isaac Liu and Sio Siua Taukeiaho who are all deserving of their call up. That might mean that we might get a Lolohea/Nikorima halves combo and my beloved #TTT with Taupau, Taukeiaho and Taumalolo all named.
8) I think it's a bit strange for the FIFA Ethics Committee to pipe up now and hand suspensions to Uncle Sepp and Michel Platini. I don't really care for the suspensions of Blatter and Platini, but I just don't see how an organisation that oozes corruption out of their sweaty pores can take their 'Ethics Committee' seriously. Where were the Ethics Committee when ... well take ya pick from the long list of dumb shenanigans that FIFA have been a part of.
9) I think I love hockey and I think the people of Christchurch do as well. Shout out to Christchurch and those punters who have helped sell-out the double header tonight with the Black Sticks men set to face India in their third game while the ladies are back in action against Argentina after a day off. The lads lost to India last night after winning game one and this continues their preparation for the epic trans-Tasman battle in the Oceania Cup.
10) I think it's absolutely fantastic that Papa New Guinea will host three games in the Rugby League World Cup in 2017. The tournament will be co-hosted by Australia and Aotearoa with PNG set to play three pool games in PNG which will continue to spread the good vibes around the country with the PNG Hunters finishing 2nd on the ladder in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup competition.
11) Bonus! I think Danny Lee is really cool.