I think the Chatham Cup is a little underwhelming ... did you know that Eastern Suburbs won the Chatham Cup on Sunday? Sure, you could be forgiven for not quite being in the know when there's 50 rugby yarns on mainstream media pages which could be half the problem. For those who don't know, the Chatham Cup is Aotearoa's club-footballing holy grail of sorts, it's like the FA Cup. Well it's kinda like the FA Cup, but it's not really because the casual sport fan has no idea what it is.
I'm not too sure where to point the figure, so I won't go pointing my finger but I do think that it is a shame. There's no reason why the Chatham Cup can't receive far more love than it currently gets and with so much history behind it as the winners list goes back to 1923, it feels like there isn't the right amount of romance surrounding one of Aotearoa's premier footballing trophies. Ah well, shout out to Eastern Suburbs who beat Napier City Rovers 2-1 in the final which was their sixth crown and we've also got to tip our hat to the ladies from Glenfield who won the Women's Knockout Cup with a 4-0 win over Massey University. Better yet - they went back to back.
I think Liz Thompson was the best player on the turf in both the ladies and gents National Hockey League finals yesterday. Thompson was part of an Auckland women's team who also went back to back with national titles as they out-classed Northland to win 6-0, with the star-studded Auckland team putting on a impressive display.
Auckland did have many talented hockey players on the turf whether older or young with former Black Stick Krystal Forgesson and Katie Glynn holding the veteran end down while Julia King stood out in the middle of the turf despite only being 23 years old. Thompson however was a vacuum in defence as Northland kept falling into her trap with Thompson making crucial tackle after crucial tackle and distributing the ball like a Black Stick should.
I think the way animals are taking over Aotearoa hockey is absolutely fantastic. The Southern Dogs went down to the Capital Cobras in the men's final of the NHL in a tense shoot-out after the scores were locked at 0-0 at full time. The Cobras had the support of their Cobra, seen in Stephen Jenness' snap below which helped them upset Auckland in the semi final and then get the bickies in the final. You need to have some sort of animal on your side and it's even better if you can get a mascot/thingy like the lads from Wellington have here.
I think Kevin Locke might just need to stop being a silly bugger. Locke is in hot water after he and team mate Tim Smith, also a former NRL player took a cheeky joy ride in coach Brian Smith's car ... and crashed it. Locke now looks likely to be shown the door from the Super League's Wakefield, who he joined after leaving Salford where he's still trying to get some money off Salford's owner.
Locke appears to have firmly planted his backside in the 'you were good for a few years' category that many daft sportsmen find themselves in. I actually don't know what is next for Locke, which is kind of a shame but it's hard to feel sorry for a 30 year old who steals his coaches car.
I think Richie McCaw is allowed a moment of funk every now and then. McCaw, despite playing in a position that demands the player to push the boundaries of what is legal, hasn't rarely found himself facing the wrath of a referee too often. Yeah, obviously McCaw gets blown up a lot for his antics at the breakdown but to the best of my memory he has never crossed the line from breakdown pest to absolute dick. His leg trip against Argentina wasn't his finest moment, but the fact that he's never really allowed that red-mist to blur his vision is a testament to the lad.
I think Carlos Tevez, who now plays for Boca Juniors in Argentina might need to say sorry to Ezequiel Ham for breaking his leg...
But at least Tevez can bust a move...
I think I enjoyed Georgia's upset win over Tonga more than Japan's upset win over South Africa. In terms of which upset was bigger, obviously Japan's win takes the cake but there was just something about watching a bunch of Georgians win a Rugby World Cup game. No one ever really connects Georgia with rugby so the fact that they won a game is mightily impressive and to beat Tonga who at the very least offer an immense physical challenge (racial stereotypes 101!) showed me that Georgia could be the new rugby powerhouse ... one day.
I think the last four teams left in the NRL Finals are the NRL's four best teams. The Broncos, Storm, Roosters and Cowboys all play at a slightly higher level than the rest and sure, you could argue about the Storm but they've consistently improved all season. This sets up one weird semi final weekend because there is only one Sydney team left, with two Queensland teams and a Melbourne team leading the charge.
What does that mean for the NRL? It just means that the NRL is in a great position and that the NRL's tentacles extend far further than the fish-bowl of Sydney thinks.
I said it last week but I'll repeat it - sifting through NRL games during June and July does get a bit tiresome as I see the same thing over and over again. However, this NRL Finals series is serving up some hectic battles between quality teams and it's absolutely fabulous.
I think Ronda Rousey is going to put Australia in a spin when she fights Holly Holm in Melbourne at UFC 193. Rousey was in Melbourne this weekend to promote the fight and I don't think Australia really knows what's coming because I expect Rousey to headline one of the best sporting events in either Australia or Aotearoa this year.
I also think ... no wait, I know that I agree with Rousey here...
I think Lydia Ko is above all this hooplah. The Solheim Cup, which I think is like the ladies Ryder Cup saw a rather large spot of drama as team Europe wouldn't allow some American lass to take a putt as a 'gimme. It's all a bit crazy...