The Football Ferns have announced that they'll play Spain and Japan ahead of the World Cup which only adds to the list of great fixtures for the ladies. They'll be kicking off a tri-series against Australia and Korea DPR this weekend at Bill McKinley park in Auckland against the Koreans, but a game against the USA is also on the radar. First of all, if you're a football fan in Auckland, you've got some awesome international football to sink your teeth in to, but how about these fixtures!?
The USA are the second ranked team in the world and you'd imagine that Spain and Japan go alright as well. Throw this tri-series in to the mix and you've pretty much got the perfect preparation for the upcoming World Cup, hopefully the Ferns can get what they need from all these games and head in to the World Cup with a sniff of something special in their sights.
The Black Sticks ladies got their series against Canada underway up in the naughty Northland, Whangarei to be precise with a 4-1 win. Once again Mark Hager is blooding a few inexperienced players with Kirsten Pearce and Rachel McCann getting their debuts out of the way with Pearce managing to get on the score sheet along with Petrea Webster, Olivia Merry and Brooke Neal.
With the remainder of the series to be played over the weekend, coach Hager will be eager to see the Black Sticks keep their foot on the throat of Canada. Despite the 4-1 scoreline, Hager wasn't too pleased, I mean he still had plenty of notes in his book to rectify as the World Hockey League appears on the horizon.
It was interesting to see that the Northern Mystics netball side struggled to find a big name sponsor for their upcoming season. We love to preach equality and all but I have to agree with Mystic's head hauncho Dianne McAteer who questioned the corporate world and their perception of female sport. It's a bit of an elephant in the room, how much we honestly disregard female sport and it's even weirder when the Black Sticks ladies get front page treatment as they've become the trendy team to support for mainstream media.
The Mystics managed to get SkyCity on board, which is interesting as SkyCity have their hand in nearly every Auckland based sporting pie. What's going to happen if the Breakers, Blues, Warriors and Mystics are all playing on the same night? Well a packed SkyCity would probably be the result, job done.
We try to give female sports love, but with netball especially, we simply don't really watch it because we're males who watch a whole lot of other sport. But we're keen to get someone to write about netball and any other female sporting stuff, so if it sounds like you, get in touch. Or else just get used to some males in their early 20's trying to bluff their way through it. Up to you.
The Football Ferns go alright, so do the Black Sticks but the Silver Ferns have fallen off a bit but with Queen Valerie and Princess Lydia doing their thing around the world, how awesome is our sporting output!?
The rugby player exodus thingy is back in action with Conrad Smith ditching our shores after the World Cup, but it's interesting as this isn't a one way street. Look at Hosea Gear and Adam Thomson, two players who were top shelf kiwi troopers who had an overseas adventure and are now back in Aotearoa.
I love the World Cup exodus because it keeps the All Blacks looking fresh, it's like a natural spring clean. However, it's not just the All Blacks who venture off shore, it's the experienced domestic lads who leave a void in Super Rugby and the ITM Cup which needs to have wise, experienced lads playing in it.
The Wellington Sevens, I said on our podcast (check out the podcast page) that the Sevens has an opportunity to get back on track as a legit sporting event. A victim of the fun police, the Sevens and the NRL Nines are a lot more similar than people think as they both put new sporting freaks on your radar. Trust me, the novelty of the Nines will slowly fall off to the point where it's a legit decision between spending your dosh on the Nines or the Sevens.
You can't expect people to do both, before people only had the Sevens and now they have a decision to make. We harp on about competition for spots in teams increasing the standard, well the competition between the Nines and Sevens should see the Sevens raise their bar. Or else we'll continue to see a shit load of yellow seats.
Joseph Parker is a legit heavyweight boxer so this might be a stretch, but the Aussies are talking up young Roosters player Willis Meehan as a boxer. Meehan's definitely talented with the gloves (far more talented than SBW, Gallen etc) and his father Kali fought Shane Cameron last year, but how about a fight between Meehan and Parker?
Meehan would have to go all in and probably put league on the back burner, or fight in the off season but we all know what boxing is like in this part of the world - a bit of a circus. Parker vs Meehan would draw a huge audience on both sides of the ditch, make plenty of money for those involved and probably result in Parker touching up Meehan, in turn shutting up many Australians. Yey.
Say no to going and fighting someone else's war, before we become the targets.
Happy Waitangi day, I mean no. Let's not celebrate such a political show. Let's celebrate Aotearoa day, we'll get back to on a date.