Monday, what a great day. A great day like today deserves a few thoughts, but first #Banter
1) I think the Pukekohe V8s reinforced why kiwi sports teams or events deserve some sort of place in Australian competitions. It's hard to come up with too many similarities between the V8s in Pukekohe and the Wellington Phoenix's position in the A-League, but a massive crowd and an action packed weekend of racing once again showed that kiwis are heavily invested in Australian competitions. The V8s might survive without a round of racing in Pukekohe, much like the A-League will probably survive without the Phoenix but to overlook the overall benefits of having a round in Aotearoa or a team based in Aotearoa would be a serious mistake ... I think.
2) I think it will be fun semi paying attention to what our #FlyingKiwis rugby lads are up to in Europe this summer. The Rugby World Cup is over and there's still some rugby buzz floating in the air, plus there are players like the Auckland trio of Simon Hickey, Charles Piutau and Bryce Heem (I'm a jaffa so yeah, there's certainly many more) who we have recently enjoyed in the ITM Cup while the Rugby World Cup was on. This Auckland bias then has me interested in the fortunes of specifically Hickey and Piutau in Europe, with Hickey playing for Bordeaux in France and Piutau in England with Wasps. Hickey must have noted the number of quality young first-fives in Aotearoa and smartly decided to take an offer from Bordeaux, where he'll probably be suited to the kicking/distribution demands. Piutau is the opposite, but he's a skillful guy so how he adjusts will be fun to follow.
Charles might want to stay away from this though, both of which game in Wasps' win over Gloucester
Ah but Charles has his boys with him...
3) I think the amount of Test cricket on right now is lovely. Somehow Sky TV managed to fluff around with the rights to the cricket in Africa, yet we've been lucky enough to get India vs South Africa live and direct from the great folks at the BCCI (go on, ponder that) and I'm certainly not complaining. We didn't get England vs Pakistan from the United Arab Emirates, which was a funky series (England head to South Africa soon) and obviously there's Australia hosting the BLACKCAPS. All three of the current Test series' have been action packed and it's been exciting to either watch or stay up to date with all of them. Vive la Test cricket!
4) I think the NFL has some serious issues that it needs to handle. There have been two recent cases of domestic violence, with Greg Hardy of the Dallas Cowboys (the Wildcard's favourite NFL team, I'll have to ask him about this one) now accused of beating/throwing around his ex-girlfriend. This follows the Ray Lewis saga and in all honesty there's probably a fair few that haven't received the same attention as Hardy and Lewis' respective incidents. We're not immune to this in our sporting codes, it does happen far less frequently in this part of the world however and it's hard to see much changing in the NFL while that Goodell bloke is running the show.
5) I think it's time for some Steven Adams...