Sometimes the Diggity Doc and the Wildcard talk to each other...
Diggity Doc - Lord Wildcard, I will allow you your moment in the sun writing about the All Whites' win overnight, but I also want a quick debrief to comfort myself.
Wildcard - Howdy Doc. Well, a win is a win is a win is how I'm feeling about it. Uncle Tony gave out four more debuts but this time the players mostly seemed up to the challenge. There seemed a semblance of cohesion about it all too, which is nice coz it's taken long enough but I just wanted to get that next win out of the way mostly so the fact that Chris Wood's fifth minute goal was the decider was perfectly fine for mine. Dunno what else to say, Oman had their chances but they didn't seem to know how to finish and for the most part we were nice and organised at the back. It was promising stuff. Do you know when the last time the All Whites had won a game was? September 2013 vs Saudi Arabia. Chris Killen scored.
DD - Chris Killen!? Crikey, I remember when he was one of our midfielders which is just one of many examples of how far NZ Football has come. Any way, Steven Adams has earned himself a spot alongside Kevin Durant on a billboard in Oklahoma but he can't shoot free-throws huh? What's doing there?
WC - Oh, mate, I watched one of the most one of the most fufilling games of basketball in my life on Thursday when the Dallas Mavs beat the LA Clippers (some absolutely *vintage* Dirk on display), in a game charged by the whole DeAndre thing. And Jordan tried to man up and he convinced Doc Rivers to leave him in the game late on, knowing they'd foul him, backing himself to hit his free throws. He shot 3 of 9 and the Mavs won by 10. Morale of the story, there are worse FT shooters than Steve, much worse. He's been working on them, though he's only hit 5 of 11 this season. He's helped by the fact that he doesn't often have to take them. Also he hit two clutchers in OT of the Magic game a couple weeks ago. I reckon it's all mental with free throw shooters, they tend to be the big guys who don't often shoot from that far away anyway. KD's injured for the next couple games, we may see slightly more touches for Steve, who knows.
Hey, and I liked Chris Killen, he was solid. But as a striker, the Killen in midfield thing was always a bit weird.
DD - So I shouldn't worry about Steve ending up like DeAndre Jordan at some stage? That would be pretty shit if our kiwi NBA guy couldn't sink them from the charity stripe right?
WC - Nah, don't worry. DeAndre's broken inside (though I'll admit I'm a bit biased in the situation). Steve's got more of a shooting touch than people realise. He'll never be Steve Nash or Steph Curry but I doubt it'll ever be a fatal flaw. You know you're struggling when they start deliberately fouling you (DeAndre, Dwight, Shaq, Drummond, etc.) and until then it's nothing to worry about. He just hasn't shot enough of them yet to level out. I reckon end of the season he'll be around the late 50s, maybe 60%. Anyway, something I've been pondering lately... what do you think Steve Kearney and Jurgen Klopp were talking about?
DD - Phew, I would have still loves Stevie otherwise ... obviously. Maybe Kearney and Klopp might be ironing out the finer points of a quick and powerful game plan? Other than that Kearney may have just been sharing a laugh with Klopp about what he got himself into. What you reckon?
WC - I reckon Klopp was asking for advice on defending. Definitely tackling advice, just wait 'til Martin Skrtel starts going round the ankles on guys next week. They won't have seen tackling like that at since Charlie Adam left. Or maybe Klopp just wanted to know why Benji wasn't in the team. A sorta downer note now, I'm not 100% comfortable with ceremonial hakas like that one they gave the Scousers. It's a complicated issue, but it's sort of selling out a major cultural symbol, you know what I mean?
DD - I know what you mean and as we saw during the Rugby World Cup, the haka is used everywhere these days. The Kiwis lads did an intense haka though so props to them. How are ya feeling about the Kiwis ahead of the decider against England?
WC - Optimistic. If they play their best then there's no way England can stop them. If they make mistakes... maybe it's a different story. But I have to back them to find a groove in the final test, I just have to. You're a little more cautious, right?
DD - A little more cautious is the right way to put it yeah. England won't stand much of a chance if the Kiwis fire and they haven't exactly fired yet. There were good signs in last week's win where the Kiwis forward [pack rolled up the guts with ease which helped Issac Luke and the young halves out. Has any Kiwis player took you by surprise or worked their way on to the Wildcard's Favourites list from the first two games?
WC - Ooh, I dunno about any new ones but there are guys that are continually growing on me. Tohu Harris is the main guy in that conversation, he's just a fun player to watch, which is key because even though this team is full of fun players, we haven't seen much 'fun' so far. It's been gritty rugby league, maybe this is the week. NRL.com ran this piece this week on the prospective first choice seventeens for all the teams this season. The Warriors one was full of contention. Centre choices, halves pairings, the bench... a few things there that are gonna spark watercooler chats. What's ya round one team if everyone's fit?
DD - Ooooh I now love you almost as much as I love Tohu mate. The kid has played in the halves for the Kiwis and spent time in the centres for the Storm this season, he is heavily slept on much like his Storm homies Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor are. Wow chief, it is November and you have lured me into a team naming. Righto: RTS, Manu, Kata, Hurrell, Lolohea, Johnson, Robson, Matulino, Luke, Lillyman, Thompson, Hoffman, Mannering ... Vete, Lisone, Gubb and maybe Ben Henry.
WC - Nice, nice. Guts for Jono Wright though. I reckon Tommy Leuluai will be in there somewhere but I reserve my right to vote since it doesn't really affect me. What else is on the agenda, hmm... here we go. Someone said to me the other day that David Warner's bat is way too heavy to be fair and I immediately agreed without even thinking. Of course he's getting an unfair advantage. Thoughts?
WC - Oh yes Mr Leuluai in for Ben Henry and we have a team, nice reminder. Well without much knowledge of how heavy his bat is and what the regulations are, I can't really comment. If it gives you another reason to hate Davey then all power to ya. I will say that bats these days are huge and really light though. You can unleash fury on Davey in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
WC - Go. He's an absolute cheat. Nobody else in the world uses a bat like that, he blocks the ball and it cannons to the fence, it's ridiculous. Any old bugger could score a couple tons with a weapon like that. That bat makes Sachin's look like a twig. It's so big it towers over himself, no wonder we can't get him out - his bat covers all three stumps. The only thing on the planet thicker than those edges is the lump of concrete under his helmet that he calls a head. He walks out to the middle and he looks like a child dragging that thing behind him. I've heard he has to get it shipped by road each game because it's unsafe to fly with that amount of weight. What a joke. The middle of his bat takes up half the distance to the boundary.
Okay I'm done. I don't actually believe all that (shocker) but it's nice to get it out in the open.
DD - Get it all out of your system now because Davey will go on to be one of the greats. Run me through your weekend's viewing and I'll figure out who needs the peptides.
WC - Right, well after the triumvirate of Blackcaps/Breakers/Phoenix, I'm definitely gonna feel a bit emptier without English footy this weekend. But there will be some tasty internationals and this at least frees me up tidily for the Kiwis test. Boom. Ah, I'll try catch a bit of ASB Premiership in there too but mostly, tbh, it's gonna be cricket. It's just that season. (Also, you turned 'em down last week but any spare peppies for the NZ bowlers, that'd be sweet. Sounds like there might be some spares too, since you're outta business in Russia - hope you cleaned off all the fingerprints).
DD - NZ Cricket/Dimitri Mascherenhas got in touch with me and up'd their offer for some peptides so they've convinced me ... that and the fact that the kiwi bowlers appear to lack that killer instinct. With regards to Russia and their use of my services - you know me, the Godfather never gets his hands dirt.
Personally, I reckon that our boundaries need peptides after watching this T20 Super Smash stuff and the Test cricket in Australia. It happens every year and we wonder why Australia's cricketers are straight up better than ours; boundary sizes is certainly one of a few factors.
WC - If you're talking boundaries at least ours are better than the ones in America or the Sachin Shane thing. Those bloody things were shaped like like the Greek alphabet. Anyway, I've gotta run but I'll be watching the WACA to see if those peps have any immediate effects. Good luck and Godspeed.
DD - Jah bless trooper