On both sides of the Tasman yesterday, Sonny Bill Williams was the headline act in newspapers eager to share something dramatic about 'Sonny Ball'. It's not everyday that one man can demand headline status on both sides of the ditch, but what made it even more funkier was that there were two different angles on SBW.
On our side of the ditch, it was all about SBW and the All Blacks, while on the other side of the ditch, it was SBW and the Bulldogs as a biography about the man, the myth and the legend himself got some publicity. That's where we all need to take in a deep breath and chill, which it looks to be the case as from what I can see, no one has dramatically reacted to the coverage that this biography received.
Sifting through the kiwi angle (about SBW and the All Blacks), only led me to a path that I hope to never, ever encounter in my day to day life - relying on information from Anthony Mundine. Yes, Mundine isn't the sharpest knife in the draw and as soon as I saw that the basis of SBW's apparent semi-ill feelings towards the All Blacks came thanks to the opinion of Mundine, it was game over.
Not to mention that this is a unauthorized biography ... or should I say story about SBW. The Australian angle, published by the Daily Telegraph, for whom Paul Kent, the biography's writer works for, told the tale of how SBW left the Bulldogs. Kent does offer some interesting information, but it's all a bit weird and without reading the whole biography which I'm sure would include many positive things about SBW, the two headlines stunk of Sonny-bashing.
Not to mention the headlines both served a purpose in giving the biography some publicity. But hey, shout out to Sonny for what I can only imagine is a first in Australasian sport.
With Ngani Laumape joining the Manawatu Turbos for the ITM Cup, it serves as a reminder of the risks involved in luring players in from other codes. The Warriors have consistently recruited some of the best young rugby players to join their Under 20 team with the hope that they will transition into solid NRL players, but this year's ITM Cup will serve up a bit of funk with Laumape joined by Ngataua Hukatai and Dylan Collier. Collier was a winger for the Junior Warriors side and left rugby league to head back to rugby pretty swiftly after his Under 20 days and has emerged as a national sevens player after impressing with Waikato.
You could say that he blazed the path, as we will now see Hukatai, also an outside back line up for Counties Manukau this season. Hukatai, a former Kings College rugby star has had to get creative to continue to chase a professional dream as he has moved down to play for Ardmore Marist in the Counties competition, like many other fringe Auckland rugby players have been doing recently. Laumape is perhaps the most talented of the three having played in the NRL and he will get a chance to play in an exciting Turbos backline.
Do we feel some sort of way about these lads heading back to rugby? No, don't feel any sort of way, it just shows that while guys like SBW have been high profile code-hoppers, it's happening all the time and it's pretty cool to be honest. Good luck to all three of them and it's going to add a little bit of funk to the ITM Cup.
TJ Dillashaw beat Renan Barao at UFC On Fox 16, to retain his bantamweight title belt, which he won from Barao in a dazzling display last year. It was a similar effort this time around from Dillashaw as his unique style where he throws combinations without even contemplating slowing down or not moving, was too much for Barao who copped it...
There was also a nice effort in the Fight Of The Night which saw Edson Barboza defeat Paul Felder in 15 minutes of pure fighting excitement. Felder suffered his first defeat in the UFC but won plenty of people over with a impressive display, especially after a kick to the ball-bags early on...
People keep talking up Justin Gatlin, as Usain Bolt's biggest rival as the American has registered the four fastest 100m times this year. However, I'm still all aboard the Bolt-wagon and still can't really see anyone beating him as long as he's willing and eager to run. Bolt raised a few question marks as he ran a 10.12sec time in April but continued his comeback from a pelvic injury to run a 9.87sec in London over the weekend.
This does however amp things up ahead of next month's World Champs which will be pretty exciting. I would never bet against Bolt though.
Nice little yarn here from the BBC about what makes Team Sky so good in cycling after Chris Froome made his Tour de France victory official.
Remember Kirk Penny?? How could you forget Mr Penny, one of our nation's best basketballers ever, if not the greatest. Unfortunately for kiwi fans, Penny will line up for the Illawara Hawks in the ANBL this season after being signed by the Hawks who are compiling one hell of a roster as Penny's the second former MVP they now have on their books. At 35, Penny adds some fire from the 3-point line and joins Kevin Lisch as the MVP's in a strong Hawks side. Hopefully Penny doesn't do this again...
The Silver Ferns won again, yey. They beat South Africa, 68-44. Hoorah.
With all due respect to the Ferns, their win doesn't quite match the Tall Blacks who beat Great Britain 84-63 in London. Corey Webster was the star for the kiwis with 32 points, shooting 5/8 from the 3-point line while youngster Issac Fotu bagged a double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds.
Shout out to Ryan Fox for winning the European Challenge Tour event in France and shout out to Lyida Ko, well a 'keep ya head up' shout out as she finished fourth in Scotland at the Ladies Scottish Open. Before we take a look at Lydia enjoying the perks of being an awesome golfer as she shared mutual 'holy shit I met...' with a bunch of celebs, I feel like we have got to talk about Robert Allenby.
Robert Allenby who just can't stop finding himself in weird headlines. First it was the all round shambles in Hawaii and now he got into it with his caddy. Apparently this isn't the first time Allenby has got into it with a caddy and it just continues to make that situation in Hawaii seem even weirder. So weird, Lydia Ko's not weird though, she's awesome.