Monday Crumbs - Redemption

Sports is great, we love to rip and tear, dissecting every last little thing while many (definitely not us, wash your mouth out) conjure up silly discussion points that have little relevance. However, for all this fluff, it's impossible to ignore the fact that sport offers a professional avenue for those who might struggle without it and there's this thing called a second chance. 

Blake Ferguson looks to haven taken that second, or third, or fourth chance depending on how you look at it, with open arms and he's all in. The Ferg turned out for the Wyong Roos against the Penrith Panthers in a trial over the weekend and in about 30 minutes scored both the Roos' tries and looked near his athletic, powerful best. The Roosters will be keen to see Ferguson continue this and all the noise around Ferguson is that he's knuckling down which will give coach Trent Robinson plenty of options out wide for the Roosters.

With Russell Packer also returning to the fold, training with the Illawara Cutters, the feeder side for the St George Dragons, there's positive vibes floating around the NRL. But it's not just the NRL, it's awesome to see that Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Amir has been allowed to venture out beyond the white picket fence and play some first class cricket in Pakistan. I've always said that Amir should be given a second chance and there's no reason why he can't fight his way back in to the mix for the national side should be follow the required process.

The required process for local rugby fans is - you support the All Blacks, support Super Rugby and then when the Sevens team are in your face, you support them as well. The Sevens is definitely not dead, because the excitement surrounding the kiwis was on par with previous years, but the fact that no one really bothers to care what the Sevens side are up to outside of two days in Wellington is the issue. 

The star of the show was Rieko Ioane and this kid looked the goods, but a dazzling display at a Sevens event rarely results in a long and illustrious All Black career. But, it can definitely kick start one, put the fire in the belly etc etc and Blues fans like myself will be hoping that young Rieko can first and foremost translate some of this in to some Super Rugby form when he gets a run.

This weekend did get me thinking, with the Olympics coming up, it's going to be cool to see how our Sevens squad starts to shape up over the course of a year or so. There's the youngins, the Sevens circuit battlers and then there's the 15-a-side troopers who will be hand picked, that mix will be lethal. 

We must always salute DJ Forbes, he's worthy of Niche Cache Fav status (Manu, Queen Val etc) and he's moving in to Eric Rush territory. Big up big up to you Mr Forbes and hopefully you get rewarded down the track with an Olympic gold medal.

Good start from the Football Ferns at Bill McKinley park in Auckland, they drew 1-1 against DPR Korea with coach Tony Readings pretty happy. Hannah Wilkinson put the Ferns ahead early on and they couldn't quite hold out the Koreans as they scored 10 minutes later, but hey, they coach was happy with the intent and for me there's no reason why I shouldn't be happy as well. The Ferns are building towards their World Cup and they'll play Australia on Thursday in what will be one of the last times to catch them on home soil, so definitely check that out!

It was a big weekend for the Black Sticks ladies as they touched up Canada 4-0 and 5-1 in Whangarei, with the hockey girls also building towards a major event. This series against Canada will basically be three ticks, job done and on to the next as they'll continue to fine tune their play with the Hawkes Bay Festival Of Hockey offering another opportunity to get out on the turf. 

Loving the look of Benji Marshall so far this season for the Dragons, any time Benji's playing well, it's a good time.

Rugby and rugby league players, I get it, you're trying to be cool, be a bit different, show some unique swag and all but the top-knot? Funnily enough, so many of you have gone for the top-knot that now you all look like copy cats.

I really don't know how to view these warm up games for the World Cup, it's basically business as usual but even that is digging too deep in to them. These games are just going to enhance the pressure on the Black Caps, Australia and South Africa while the likes of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, well personally I reckon they're chilling and will offer up a completely different challenge once the World Cup starts.

If you missed the memo, every time someone calls the Black Caps the favourite for the World Cup or a contender, we have to get excited, ok? Clearly we've never really been very good at cricket before.

Steven Adams never really lets us down, much like his sister Queen Val and this lefty free throw attempt but that came about thanks to an injury to his right hand. This will see him miss the All Star weekend activity, mainly the Rising Stars game but that's all good, rest up Steve. Chill out, watch some re-runs of Bro Town or Outrageous Fortune and enjoy your time off.