The only non-tricky situation today is the All Whites situation, their situation is fabulous. Despite going down to Korea Republic 1-0, the All Whites have once again shown signs that they along with the Black Caps and Kiwis are starting to turn a few corners. The All Whites finally have they talent to step up a few levels and they days of gutsy defence and long balls feels like a rather distant memory as our footballin' lads appear to be buying in to what coach Anthony Hudson is preaching.
I'll let the Wildcard drop the knowledge on their performance but it's important that we don't act like typical kiwis with the All Whites, as we did with the Black Caps. The sky's the limit, the quicker we can rid ourselves of this 'punching above their weight' mindset the better because it's clear that there's some damn fine players in this side. We follow our football players who are performing overseas with Flying Kiwis every Monday night and being on that pulse has really opened my eyes to the talent we have. We've always been behind the eight ball with the skill level of the players, but now we can combine technically sound players with our hard working attitude. Lovely.
It would be nice if their weren't this non-sporting issues surrounding the great Lydia Ko, she's such a good sort. It seems that everyone behind the scenes wants their slice of the pie, whether it be financially or just jumping on the bandwagon and it really is sad. Headlines read that Ko's father could be keen to take legal action for damage done to Lydia's image ... image/brand same thing. Fair play, but why do you need to escalate this situation?
Lydia Ko's image and/or brand will be fine, that's the benefit of being ridiculously good at such a young age. There's no benefit in taking legal action, that would just take this 'damaging her image' idea even further. Why there was this need to accept a donation or whatever it was from this mysterious Korean Bank bamboozles me, it's pretty obvious she's going to make it rain with cash. Tricky situation all round, that's what happens when silly people want to get involved.
Charles Piutau has announced that he's boosting over to Europe to play rugby, which will also result in him making it rain. Ulster look to have secured his signature and if this turns out to be on point, hats off to him. Piutau has earned the All Black jersey, he'll probably get a taste of World Cup action and then he can earning a hefty living, how can you hate on that?
I'm still of the opinion that we've got a flawed system with players slaves to the All Black jersey. We expect them to stay in their comfort zone with the illustrious black jersey the key benefit, but a black jersey doesn't earn you and your family all that paper. It would be nice if players were contracted to their respective unions/franchises instead of the national body who pull all the strings. It's a tricky situation, it would be very nice if it wasn't so tricky.
We have the most and best rugby players in the world, so they deserve to get paid what they're worth.
Staying with rugby, it's hard to smile reading that the Auckland Rugby Union is going to stream their first 15 games online. Now, the tricky part here is that we continue to push ITM Cup rugby or whatever it's called down the pecking order which is horrible. People only look at the players, the freaks who have quickly transitioned from schoolboy rugby to professional rugby with ease without looking at the vast majority who don't do much after their school days. Domestic rugby needs to be placed on a throne because it's a step up from schoolboy rugby on the pathway ranks.
NRL clubs, especially the Warrior eventually got the memo that it was better to bring players through the Under 20's then reserve grade and then first grade after somehow thinking that lots of players could transition from playing against kids to the NRL. We seem to be celebrating the stars of schoolboy rugby, thinking that they are the norm but think of how many guys in your first 15 who were awesome are now battling away in club rugby. The order still needs to be schoolboy rugby, club rugby, ITM Cup, Supr Rugby etc.
Now, after taking a bit of a detour there, it's great to see the ARU showing some ballbags and getting their product out there. The fact that they're doing it for free on Youtube shows how bloody easy this is, anyone who expects people to pay to watch this is super dumb. Hopefully the ARU can show how easy this is (I'm not sure if they can because there's a fair amount of old dudes running that shit) and other organisations can do something similar ... maybe the NZRU could? Oh, but they can't because Sky TV have them wrapped around their pinky.
But please, someone give domestic rugby the attention it deserves, less schoolboy stuff that A) generates revenue for everyone except the players, who actually do all the work and B) doesn't mean much in the big scheme of things as only a minority really kick on.
Salute to Darryl Gibson, he's coach of the Waratahs and joins a long list of kiwi rugby coaches, like players taking opportunities overseas. Oh the irony.
The National Basketball League tips off tonight with the Southland Sharks taking on Manawatu Jets in Invercargill, while tomorrow night has Taranaki Mount Airs up against Wellington Saints in New Plymouth. We'll add the NBL to our results and fixtures and keep you in the loop as best we can. Go check out a game if you're into your basketball, local leagues like these really need support so get up off your ass, stop Tweeting and taking dumb Instagram selfies and go watch local sport.
Steven Adams, Upto Bro?
vs Phoenix Suns - 42 minutes, 13, points, 1 block, 1 steal, 16 rebounds