Sure, I was hopeful about the Black Caps. Hopeful, not confident but it would have been nice to at least have the Warriors and Phoenix do something. It would have been nice, but sport doesn't really give a shit about being nice.
And neither do Australia, hence why they are the best cricket side in the world. It really is puzzling to me how kiwis like to sit on their moral high chair, it seems that we are dining out on that moment when Grant Elliot reached down to help the homie Dale Steyn out.
Australia play sport bloody hard, as you should and their cricket sides have always played cricket this way. But they are also very quick to ensure that battles stay on the field or in press conferences, they like many sportsmen around the world whether they be professional of club battlers, are always keen to leave it on the field. I think we can learn a lot from the Black Caps because we don't hear any of them complaining about the Australian side and when Grant Elliot got a few whispers in his ear, he stood his ground, as he should.
That's what it's about.
Australia were better in all aspects and they deserve plenty of credit. Much more credit than they are getting while our nation mourns and celebrates good sportsmanship. You could notice a few signs of what the Black Caps were working towards long ago, they toured Bangladesh in a rather tame series but a squad full of youth and under the guidance of Brendon McCullum formed. From that point on, it's been clear that this Black Caps group can do so much more than what people had become used to.
That's why this sucks. Because it has to suck. In Test's and ODI's, this group with a wave of younger players coming through the system can become the best in the world, no doubt about it. But we were shown that we're simply not good enough right now.
I don't deal in this 'we did so well to make the final' bullshit. We were expected to, those silly former players all said we were a good side, the only fairytale aspect of this was the way the nation got involved. We were good enough to make the final, but weren't good enough to win the Cricket World Cup. I think we were taught another lesson by an Australian sporting side, hopefully we continue to learn from these lessons.
Australia respected the Black Caps because of the way they played cricket. McCullum's captaincy is aggressive and creative because he simply wants to win, that vibe is in the whole squad and it's why I think Australia respected us instead of looking down at us. That's a fantastic starting point to build this cricket side from.
We're still gunning to be the number one Test and ODI side in the world.
To pile on the misery, both the Warriors and Phoenix in rather disappointing fashion. The Phoenix could at least say that they weren't at full strength, a rightful ... ah I guess it's an excuse, that's ok. We got to see some of the younger brigade take the field with Mathew Ridenton and Alex Rufer some game time, especially against a quality side like Sydney FC along with new signing Kwabena Appiah-Kubi. Much like the Black Caps, you've just got to take this 3-0 loss on the chin.
The Warriors? Well where's ya clutch?
The ASB Premiership also has its finalists sorted with Auckland City FC set to take on Hawkes Bay United and despite my 100% jaffa-ness, it'd be lovely to see Hawkes Bay take the cake. Hawkes Bay were down 2-1 after the first leg and rather dramatically came back to win 4-3, 5-5 on aggregate with the ol' away goal doing the trick.
The have a tough mission, taking on Auckland City who did the job against Waitakere United, winning 5-1 and taking the overall 7-1 win over two legs. The ASB Premiership deserves plenty of love and hopefully we'll see a bit of a shake up with Hawkes Bay doing something special.
Steve Adams, Upto Bro?
vs Utah Jazz - 23 minutes, 5 points, 1 block, 1 steal, 2 assists, 14 rebounds
From The Weekend
Hurricanes 36 - 12 Rebels
Reds 17 - 18 Lions
Chiefs 37 - 27 Cheetahs
Highlanders 39 - 21 Stormers
Waratahs 23 - 11 Blues
Sharks 15 - 9 Force
Bulls 31 - 19 Crusaders
No highlights :(
Fever 55 - 50 Thunderbirds
Mystics 57 - 52 Southern Steel
Melbourne Victory 2 - 1 Central Coast Mariners
Melbourne City 1 - 0 Brisbane Roar
Perth Glory 3 - 2 Western Sydney
Wellington Phoenix 0 - 3 Sydney FC