Monday Crumbs - Viva La Pacific

Did you know that the 2015 Pacific Games are due to get underway in five days? Nah, bet you didn't because apparently no one really seems to care besides Anthony Hudson. And why does Anthony Hudson care? Well mainly because he's the coach of the Under-23 All Whites team, you might have seen their squad that I put up here last week.

Since naming that squad, Hudson has come out and slammed the Pacific Games which are to be hosted by Papa New Guinea for the lack of professionalism in the general organisation of the event. A bunch of games over a short time span and the poor standard of the facilities were his biggest gripes, apparently Hudson thought that PNG would be able to offer more?

Welcome to Oceania Mr Hudson. 

"I am shocked because this would not happen anywhere else". Well Mr Hudson, it appears you haven't ventured too far out of your little office in Aotearoa have you?

Obviously we would all like our Pacific neighbours to be able to offer all the bells and whistles, but it's rather unrealistic to expect that. Instead, and I'm willing to let Hudson slide this one time, how about we just embrace it? 

But that would mean embracing our brothers and sisters from the Pacific, something that we rarely do in Aotearoa. We tend to enjoy our position as the big dog, given that it's the only time where we can be the big dog and the upcoming All Blacks Test in Samoa is another example of this. There's no reason why we can't take more Tests to various Pacific Islands and it's rather yucky how the New Zealand Rugby Union have taken the angle of being the good cunts because they're taking a one to Samoa - let's be honest, this only happened because a fuss was kicked up.

It's all a bit weird and I think we could do a lot more to help and support sport throughout the Pacific, in conjunction with Australia than being quick to criticize. We are increasingly stretched for resources here in Aotearoa, so the mere fact that PNG will host the Pacific Games is pretty damn impressive... but not good enough apparently.

What's also rather shitty is how little is known about the Pacific Games, with the only headline about the Games being Hudson's complaints. We practice what we preach so we'll be keeping an eye on it, but I mean, do we really need to be told how biased an Australian commentator is over a bunch of kiwi footballers, weightlifters and taekwondo-ers representing the silver fern? 

Because no kiwi rugby commentator has ever shown any ounce of bias, right?

The Pacific Games will include a pretty interesting range of sports and it's pretty exciting to see the Pacific come together in the name of sport. Some of the sports are: athletics, touch rugby, triathlon, volleyball, cricket, bodybuilding, rugby league 9's, football, lawn bowls, rugby 7's and a bunch more. Fucking awesome!

How great is it that there's two kiwi rugby teams in the Super Rugby final? It's pretty cool, and the fact that it's the Hurricanes and Highlanders makes it even cooler, but has anyone stopped to think that like, maybe this isn't very good for rugby?

Or do we all just love being the best at rugby, like head and shoulders above everyone else in a sport that doesn't appear to be growing? That's the joy of a World Cup year, we get to see if that hypothesis is true or not and I honestly doubt that while having a team from Argentina and Japan equals growth, that they will come close to winning much. 

The New Zealand women's cricket team aka the White Ferns have been dealt a first up loss at the hands of India, in the first of five ODIs. The kiwis did a great job in bowling India out for 142 with some impressive performances from righty Lea Tahuhu, left arm spinner Morna Nielsen and off-spinner Leigh Kasperek who picked up three wickets each.

The Ferns however struggled with the bat and could only manage a rather poo 123 in reply, handing India the win. The Indians were too good with the ball as Sneh Raina picked up three wickets with her offies while the rest of the wickets were shared around. 

This tour is part of the ICC Women's Championship which serves as part World Cup qualifier and part two year tournament. It started last year and will go into next year with the top eight nations in women's cricket playing each other in three ODI's with the top four to directly qualify for the World Cup while the bottom four must then go up against the so called 'minnows' to earn their spot. The White Ferns are currently dead last after seven games.

As expected, the women's Black Sticks defeated Belgium over the weekend 2-0 to seal a quarter-final match up with Japan. That means that the Black Sticks finished first in their pool and will now be determined to work their way deep into the tournament and have confidence on their side having not conceded a goal in pool play. 

Gemma Flynn and Anita Punt scored the two goals for the Black Sticks and Flynn is well poised to possibly finish the tournament as the top goal scorer. She has seven goals in pool play, which has her in third spot with Jodie Kenny sitting in top spot with nine goals.

Semi-final time in the FIFA Women's World Cup is set to smack us in the face with the USA up against Germany, while England will take on the belt-holders in Japan. Germany beat France on penalties after scores were level on 1-1, USA beat China 1-0, England put the hosts Canada out of the tournament 2-1 and Japan narrowly beat Australia 1-0.

Japan are the reigning champs, but they've snuck through this World Cup without much noise, winning all their games so far by only a single goal.