Kiwis are pretty handy on the water, go figure as we are after all a couple of islands in the ocean. The America's Cup is pretty meh, nothing more than rich folk gallivanting around the world in a 'my willy is bigger than yours contest' so that rules out the Nichey Niche loving the America's Cup. Sailing however, especially when the Olympics rolls around is pretty awesome and so to is rowing, which is great because we're fabulous at it.
My mind is full with sporting junk, to the point where I would be doing the New Zealand Rowing Team's efforts at the World Champs in France an injustice if I tried to tell you what it all means . With all due-respect to the rowers and all the work they have done for these World Champs, as a kiwi sporting fan, my rowing antenna perks up during the Olympics. I guess a broad thought from another successful World Champs is that it's nice to see the kiwi team expand with the men's and women's eight both qualifying for the Olympics.
Come Olympic time, I'll be hyped to see the two eights in action and hopefully add a few more Olympic memories to an already hefty list.
What I can say with some authority is that rowing is one of our best sporting exports, possibly the best when you consider that no other country really likes rugby as much as we do. The rowers are always winning, if they aren't winning then there's an issue and a young buck/lass who has the talent comes in and starts to win; we're fucking good at rowing.
Imagine if rowing had half of the NZRU's high performance budget.
Is it the athletes? The coaches? Do they have the secret formula? Is it just straight up kiwi yakka that makes us so good? I'm not sure, but I would love to find out because besides the Maadi Cup which is a huge school rowing event, we don't really here too much about domestic rowing and who is next on the scene. From the outside looking in, that person just pops up and starts winning medals.
How are rowers selected to go a step further than the Maadi Cup? Especially when the Maadi Cup sees the majority of its competitors give up rowing once they leave school.
In a way, there's this air of mystery about the kiwi rowing team. There's that Dick Tonks guy who is rowing's Dumbledore and every rower he coaches tends to win some sort of medal. We don't know much about Tonks though which is cool as it only enhances this mystique.
Our rowers aren't really celebrities, nor do they earn the coin of many of our other athletes, but they are all a part of a great set up/production line of champions. Think of how many young athletes, mainly at the NZ Warriors would benefit from seeing a glimpse of the work these rowers put in and what they do to be successful. None of the kiwi rowers do all that work for more Instagram followers or to get a gig on telly, they just want to win and NZ Rowing should be an example for not only athletes but also many sporting organisations.
Jarryd Hayne aye, this yarn just keeps on getting better and better with the Hayne-plane making the final 53-man roster for the San Francisco 49ers. Hayne has effectively made it, job done ... right?
Kinda. I've said before that people underestimate just how much Hayne loved the NFL before making the jump and how that knowledge would have helped him, but Hayne also has supreme confidence in his own ability. This will drive him to perform consistently in the NFL and there's no way that he will be satisfied in just making the rosters - that's what seperates the best athletes from you and I.
Also, the Wildcard has told me that the 49ers won't be very good this season. This means that after the first week or three, the hype and hoopla won't quite be as glamorous as it is now but this is where I'm picking that we will see Hayne shine.
The Wildcard has also told me that kiwi Paul Lasike didn't make the roster for the Arizona Cardinals, but did get picked up to join the Chicago Bears' practice squad. Chur.
The National Hockey League rolled through round 2, the last of the weekend games before the teams all head to Whangarei to get into the grind of the week long tournament. On the ladies side of the draw, Northland showed that they are very much a team to keep an eye on as they defeated Auckland 3-0. This gave Northland their first win while Midlands also got on the scoreboard with a 3-1 win over Central. Canterbury beat Capital 4-0 while North Harbour beat Southern 5-1 meaning that Canterbury and Harbour both have two wins from two games.
Capital and Southern are now 0-2 which should rule them out of contention already, especially with how competitive the other teams are. Northland, Midlands, Central and Auckland are all on 4 points and trying to pick the best team out of this group wouldn't be an easy task, plus they could all give the two leaders in Canterbury and Harbour a run for their money.
The men's action saw Auckland beat Northland 4-1, which is fair enough. Midlands beat Central 2-1 while Canterbury beat Capital 3-2 and North Harbour beat Southern 2-1. Harbour and Auckland sit pretty at the top of the table and look to be the teams to beat but Canterbury have also shown that they could be a factor with a nice win over Capital who have a few Black Sticks.
I won't start getting balls-deep in the US Open until the semi-finals or so, but you've got to laugh at this Eugenie Bouchard shawtie. Bouchard had to withdraw from the tournament thanks to a concussion that came in the dressing rooms, but before that she was involved in a doubles match with the one and only Nick Kyrgios. Let's call it the Kyrgios-curse because the pair looked to be enjoying each other's company, which was soon noted by the tennis-loving world...
Lastly, shout out to Wayne Rooney who despite playing for Manchester United is a good lad and he tied Sir Bobby Charlton's goal-scoring record for England over the weekend. Rooney and Charlton have played the same number of games and Rooney's penalty against San Marino gave him his 49th England goal.