Over the past few weeks we've been able to sit back and admire the beauty of sport. Performances and on-field action which has dazzled, left us in awe and eager to find the next little slice of a fairytale to keep us going. This weekend, as always we got a bit of that but we also got the other side of sport which isn't really as nice but it's an important aspect of sport which makes the contest, the battle and everything on the periphery all that much more bloody awesome.
I shouldn't need to say that obviously no one likes the treatment of referees that we saw, or a headline about one of our rugby lads running a muck in Europe, but apparently there are dummies out there who might need me to say that. It's shit, but it's all part of sport and it enhances everything whether it be the drama sitting on your couch, the storylines that make you tune or just your passion levels. There's a good and bad side to everything, but they co-exist, each side needs the other to make sport what it is.
The NRL situation is a weird one because the ref's have been walking this fine line of alienating fans and players so far this season. The antics on Friday night were the product of a few weeks of NRL action which have been highlighted by confusing decisions, no real explanations and an all round mess. Each week there were at least three decisions that left everyone from players to commentators and fans just straight up confused, at some point things had to snap.
That snapping moment could have been at the hands of the NRL, they could have done something but instead it was left to simmer up until Friday night. Everyone involved knows that the fans who acted as such should be banned, that's a given. We feel for the refs, it's bad for any sport to see refs treated as such because you need refs and the majority of you reading this already have 'why the fuck would you be a ref?' firmly entrenched in your mind.
Then you have the on-field behaviour of the players, which, let's be honest was no different to what you see in football. But their actions showed why we love sport, when two very confusing decisions are made in crunch time when the game is on the line, passion oozes from the players. To expect a grown man, testosterone flowing through his veins after 78 odd minutes of smashing other men, to expect him to bite his tongue is very difficult.
It happens, we see it in football and I'm pretty sure last night in the Phoenix's loss to Melbourne Victory, I saw many examples of players feeling like it was their right to get up in the grill of the ref. How you change that? Well besides harsh penalties and better referring, I'm not sure.
The Nix lost that match in another stinker. Not the best, but we have to remember that they have faced two of the best while being far from full strength. It's hard to really gauge their efforts when two of their core triangle in the middle of the park weren't playing in Ben Sigmund and Albert Riera.
Sticking with football, our Football Ferns were taught a similar lesson at the hands of the USA 4-0. Team USA looked far better than our ladies, bigger, stronger, faster and more skillful but it's one of those games that you have to take on the chin and get on with the mission. USA are one of the best teams in the world so heading into their upcoming World Cup, it's good to have a benchmark and know what you're aiming for.
It's all part of the fun though. Lessons, injuries, suspension, shitty referring, it just all adds to the package of sport and I'd have it no other way. We also had the likes of Charlie Adam knock a goal in from well inside his half for Stoke against Chelsea, but I prefer the skill, guile and power of Alexis Sanchez ... mainly because he helped Arsenal smash Liverpool.
Or we can head to the ANZ Championship where Maria Tutaia, with ice running through her veins nailed this shot to give her Mystics a draw with the Magic.
There was also the world football underdogs who double as the top dogs of football in Aotearoa, Auckland City FC snatching their sixth ASB Premiership win. They came from behind to defeat the lads from Hawkes Bay United 2-1 and once again they have been too good for the competition, so hats off to them.
Steven Adams, Upto Bro?
vs Memphis Grizzlies - 36 minutes, 9 points, 6 rebounds
vs Houston Rockets - 14 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist
From The Weekend
Hurricanes 25 - 20 Stormers
Rebels 23 - 15 Reds
Chiefs 23 - 16 Blues
Brumbies 20 - 3 Cheetahs
Sharks 10 - 52 Crusaders
Lions 22 - 18 Bulls
Magic 45 - 45 Mystic
- Fever vs Vixens
- Tactix vs Steel
Waitakere Rangers 90 - 98 Nelson Giants
Canterbury Rams 114 - 98 Manawatu Jets
Bay Hawks 68 - 75 Nelson Giants
Brisbane Roar 6 - 1 Central Coast Mariners
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 - 1 Melbourne City
Sydney FC 0 - 1 Adelaide United
Wellington Phoenix 0 - 3 Melbourne Victory