Friday Frills - Slick Sporting Saturdays

I thoroughly enjoy sport, so I have thoughts about sport. My most recent thought about sport was about the importance of focus or concentration. Are these mental skills attributes? Hell yeah, sure it might be harder to quantify than speed or strength or the ability to perfectly execute a specific skill like passing a rugby ball/netball/football. Think of how many times the term 'switched off' is used to describe how a team conceded a bunch of points, that's thanks to a lack of focus. But how do you train to stay focused for an entire game? Ah, have a think about that on this glorious Friday.

Do all the thinking that you have to do today because tomorrow we have an absolute feast of sport to enjoy where we will surely see examples of a lack of focus/concentration and the opposite where a player did exactly what was required at that point in the game. 

The Silver Ferns should/will face England in the semi final of the Netball World Cup in Sydney after beating Malawi. Australia I imagine will face Jamaica in the other semi, which gets your Saturday started nicely as you can spend the morning doing bits and pieces, the usual Saturday morning stuff and then settle in for a bit of netball. Or, just catch glimpses while you're out and about. The Ferns' semi final's broadcast will start at 1:55pm on the only broadcaster of any notable sport in Aotearoa.

This is when things get tricky and you thank your lucky stars that you can record sport with such ease in 2015. In Sydney, Penrith to be exact, the Warriors' season is on the line as they take on the Panthers, who are in an equally precarious position as the Warriors. The Warriors should definitely play second fiddle to the All Blacks though as they simply haven't earned the right to demand your eyeballs of late and with the Warriors broadcast set to start at 7pm and the Bledisloe Cup game at 7:30pm, hearty sports fans could be doing some juggling.

NRL games will take us into the night after the Bledisloe Cup game, but not if you're in the slightest bit concerned about our basketballers. The Oceania Championship gets underway on Saturday night with the first leg going down in Melbourne before come back to the Land Of The Long White Cloud next week. The Opals and the Tall Ferns get us started here at 8:30pm, which with the Opals as the firm favourites, shouldn't drag you away from the All Blacks during that crossover period. Check in on the score though when they're about to take a breather before packing a scrum.

While the Boomers are also favourites against the Tall Blacks, the men's action should be more competitive and it's on at 10:30pm so you can have a little night-cap. If you haven't seen much of the Tall Blacks and are still wondering where Steven Adams is, I'd keep an eye on two players. First is Corey Webster who is the Tall Blacks' scorer, if he gets hot then the Tall Blacks' chances of victory increase dramatically and Webster scores far more consistently these days which is why there's still hope.

The other player that will have an impact on the game but is also a youngster with plenty of talent but doesn't quite get the props he deserves is Isaac Fotu. The 21 year old plays professionally in Spain and will likely see big minutes alongside Mika Vukona as they form a big man combo that will easily dismantle Andrew Bogut, fingers crossed. Fotu has been impressive throughout the Tall Blacks' European tour, don't sleep on Rob Loe either who is 24 and plays pro-ball in Belgium. Along with Tai Wynyard, who is set to join powerhouse college Kentucky, there's a pretty funky young-big-man edge to this Tall Blacks team so if the Boomers are winning, watch how these youngsters go and get excited to the future.

I don't think the Boomers will be winning by much though.

People, I think we as kiwis are all forgetting that Michael Cheika still has big decisions to make with his Wallabies team. There are spots up for grabs, with Bernard Foley and Nick Phibbs the easiest examples to use from last week as they were extremely average and didn't exactly demand selection.

Before we all make rash judgments about the Wallabies, ask yourself if you can name the best Wallabies' 22 man squad. I can't, which is why it's important that Cheika throws a few players to the wolves this weekend to see how the respond. Bigger picture people, bigger picture.

But that would require kiwi rugby fans to adopt a different perspective, ah, yeah, forget that.

Let's play a game for this week's Bledisloe Cup game. Count how many times you see the ref on your screen and count how many times Richie McCaw and Stephen Moore are on your screen at the same time. Yup, both of them. It was quite a laugh last week.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet my friend Nick Kyrgios, great guy...

Stan Wawrinka's probably nicer though...

Big up big up to Steve Harmison, former England cricket player and Ashes hero which makes him a general hero. He's coaching his former football club Ashington AFC who are destined for FA Cup glory.

Bony got the touch...