The Lineup
B.I.R. Column Of Fame
Man of Steel... Wood... and Mud: Bear Grylls
Rock Legend: Tom Morello

League Gods: The Emperor and Alfie

Str-8 Shoota: Malcolm X

Str-8 Shoota: Zack de la Rocha

Super Bad mofo's

Comrade Hillary

Saturday, July 30, 2005


Newcastle 37 - Storm 18

Oh yeah. Calling it real.

Nonu to switch codes? 

According to the Sydney Morning Herald...

Nonu eager to swap codes
July 30, 2005
Dumped All Black Ma'a Nonu, 23, wants to play in the NRL after missing out on New Zealand's Tri Nations rugby union squad.

The barnstorming, 1.83-metre, 99-kilogram utility back has already received "tempting offers" from NRL clubs, according to his manager, Dunedin lawyer Warren Alcock.

Nonu is in the final year of his contract with the Wellington and New Zealand rugby unions.

I guess it wouldn't be that surprising after his recent snubbing in favour of Conrad Smith and Tana Umaga (they aren't going to drop the captain).

One thing he will need to improve on is his defence if he does make the switch. hell even if he doesn't I think it's one of the main things holding him back from higher honours. He's got to be one of the worst midfield defenders in the country at the top level. I don't really watch defenders during games but the number of times players go straight through the middle of a backline that he is in the centre of is a bit disconcerting.


In other news, my wife and I have a young Korean boy staying with us at the moment and so he knocks on the bedroom door at the ridiculous time of 8:45 this morning saying he's hungry. Guess who has to make him breakfast? But anyway, I turned on the TV expecting to see kids shows everywhere (it's been years since I've got up that early in the weekend) and I find every chanel except TV 2 is playing all manner of absolute horse shit. TV 3 have infomercials from 9am to 10:30. What the fuck is that about?! Give yourselves an uppercut you pricks.

Anyway, today I wanted to go watch the Gallagher Shield final at Eden Park between Waitakare City (formerly known as Te Atatu) who are in their first ever final against Ponsonby who basically own the title. Ponsonby should win reasonably comfortably. But my wife says no.

We have free tickets (how do I scam these things?!) to the New Zealand Knights game tonight against the Queensland Roar and two games in a day is apparently illegal in this household.


And with the league this weekend.

The Roosters have all but had their playoff hopes extinguished after a 44-6 flogging by the Dragons at Win Stadium last night (which set a ground record of 19,512, 580 more than the previous record with the article linked to suggesting it was because everybody wanted to see the Roosters.... lose).

The Roosters would need to win four out of five to have a chance and on current form that just isn't going to happen. They are playing the Panthers, Sharks, Rabbits, Broncos and Bulldogs. And even if they do win four from five they may well dip out on points for and against if they tied with the Warriors who are 64 points better off than the Roosters.

With their win the Dragons have all but booked their playoff spot. They are guaranteed 28 points now and have a positive points differential of 94. They would have to lose every game from here on in and by an average of about 15-20 points a game. That ain't going to happen (although they are the Dragons...).

So that's the Broncos, Eels and Dragons assured of top 8 spots.


Sea Eagles

left fighting for the other five spots.

If the Warriors lose they will be on tenterhooks. The other sides can still afford one or two losses in teh next two weeks.

Friday, July 29, 2005

NRL Round 21 

Things are heating up in the rugby league and if the Warriors can win against the Panthers tomorrow night in Sydney they'll be sitting pretty for a shot at the top eight.

Some commentators estimate teams will need 28 points to make the cut this season which would see the Warriors (20) needing to win three of their last five games - they've got a two point bye.
The general opinion, based on the final eight each year since the competition was stretched to 15 teams in 2002, is that a team needs to finish on at least 26 points to make the finals. However, the more compressed nature of this year's competition means a team is likely to need at least 28 points.
After 20 rounds last season there were three teams on 30 points or more and the team running eighth was on 21 points.
After 20 rounds this season there is only one team with more than 26 points and the team running eighth is on 24.
In fact, each of the six teams from third to eighth is on 24 and the teams ninth and 10th have more points than the team that was running eighth last year.

This estimate sits nicely with Warriors coach Tony Kemp's call six weeks ago that the Warriors needed to win 6 from 10. They're currently on 3/5.

However, last week New Zealand's top league reporter Steve Kilgallon wrote the Warriors need to win four of their last five to make the 8?

(Word on the street has it that Kilgallon simply cannot believe the apathy of opposition; New Zealand Heralds league reporter Peter Jessup who according to my sources "hasn't broken a story all year".)

Facing the desperate Panthers in Sydney followed by second-placed Eels at Ericsson then third placed Storm in Melbourne - even if they do have shit crowds - won't be easy.

The final two games of the season are both winnable though - the Knights at Ericsson and then the seemingly headless Sea Eagles at the ever-less imposing Brookvale "fortress".

But the punters are confident the Warriors will get one of these three wins tomorrow.
Penrith beat the Warriors in Auckland earlier this season and have won the last two clashes between these sides at this venue. However that is where the advantage to the Panthers ends. Both sides enter the match with identical sides to last week but the visitors are in far better form. Stacey Jones is running the football at pace while picking up runners when the gaps appear. The four front rowers for the Warriors, Price, Wiki, Villasanti and Paleaaesina are world class and will put NZ on the front foot at all times. Penrith gave the impression that they were a football side for periods of the match against Nth QLD last week but for the remainder they were a rabble. Poor ball handling, missed tackles and unimaginative attack make them a risk this weekend. They need to improve or the Warriors will have them for dinner.

Anyways, enough idle speculation and on to this week's matches. (I'll have to update Jessup's tips as some lazy bugger forgot to buy today's paper...)

Dragons versus Roosters - Bennyasena Dragons
Knights vs Storm - Bennyasena Storm
Broncos vs Raiders - Bennyasena Broncos
Panthers vs Warriors - Bennyasena Warriors
Sea Eagles vs Cowboys - Bennyasena Cowboys
Rabbits vs Bulldogs - Bennyasena Rabbits
(Honestly I think they might be able to pull one out of the bag here, I watched the Bulldogs trialling new kickers last night on the news - kicker maestro El Masri is out - and they were woeful. The two sides drew 23-23 last time they played.)
Sharks vs Tigers - Tigers

Thursday, July 28, 2005

It can't be true 

Just when you thought it was safe to go back out on the field.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Contender Heats Up 

To use a TV advertising line there.

Here's the breakdown for latecomers and the likes of myself who have memories like a senile goldfish.

The Contender

Wednesday 27 July at 9.30pm

When challenged to a speed bag race, the contenders must fight to the finish for the right to choose who will battle it out in the ring.

During the fight, an accident in the ring will send one contender to the hospital [the educated guess would be Anthony who pulled a hamstring during last weeks challenge, but I'd be surprised if somebody would pick him to fight if he's still struggling and a hamstring pull isn't an injury which puts people in hospital, though a slow moving person who gets a right hook to the jaw might find themselves there].

Episode 10: Alfonso v Ahmed. Alfonso wins

Episode 9: Sergio v Ishe. Sergio wins. Ahmed voted back

Episode 8: Jimmy v. Joey. Joey wins. Juan leaves

Episode 7: Juan v. Tarick. Juan wins

Episode 6: Anthony v. Brent. Anthony wins

Episode 5: Peter v. Miguel. Peter wins

Episode 4: Sergio v. Najai. Sergio wins. Jeff leaves and Peter's voted back

Episode 3: Ishe v. Ahmed. Ishe wins.

Episode 2: Jesse v. Jonathan. Jesse wins.

Episode 1: Alfonso v. Peter. Alfonso wins.

About the Show

'Rocky' star Sylvester Stallone and six-time world boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard are on the search for America's next boxing sensation in The Contender.

The most gruelling reality competition of the year is about to begin. 16 professional boxers have gathered from the far corners of America to compete in a competition that will test their commitment, their perseverance and their determination. They are the world's most promising boxers and they all share one goal: to be the best boxer the world has ever seen.

Sylvester Stallone is joined by boxing icon Sugar Ray Leonard as hosts of The Contender. Each week, Stallone and Leonard will put the fighters through their paces at a gruelling training camp, where the men live, eat, sleep and train together.

At the conclusion of each episode, the men will compete in a five-round professional bout, where the winner moves one step closer to the one million dollar grand prize and the Contender title. In the action-packed season finale, the final two fighters will compete in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The 6 that are left (who you can read more on here).

Anthony is a K-Mart supervisor and father of two.

28-year-old Jesse of Nevada is a country boy in the big smoke.

Joey is a lawyer with several degrees under his belt.

Mexican Alfonso has family faith on his side.

Peter, a happy go-lucky electrician, turns into Godzilla in the ring. Sergio, 'The Latin' Snake' is determined to leave his ghetto beginnings behind.

Join boxing legends Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard as they begin the search for the world's next champion in The Contender.

* Captions available on Teletext page 801 for Korean wives

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Crowds Coming Back 

After the usual mid season lull the NRL crowds have picked up again as the playoff race home starts up in earnest. The Tigers broke the ground record at Leichardt (22,877) and the ground actually had to turn away an estimated 20,000 bucks worth of patrons. The Tigers after a bit of a mid season lull themselves have now won four straight for the first time in their history (since Balmain and Western Suburbs merged). They didn't disappoint, thrashing traditional local rivals the Rabbits by 42-20.

The Warriors also had their biggest crowd of the season along by miles with 18,361. They have the third worst average in the league at the moment with 12,067. I was at the game and was snapped out of my day dream by the booing that followed the announcement of Monty Betham's name. Fucken funny and hopefully a nother message to the club that he should be restricted to the training field and not to actually playing for the team. He offers nothing on attack apart from a guaranteed fuck up in the play the ball every game. Unless of course you consider attack to mean physically attacking an opponent in which case he offers quite a bloody lot. He doesn't even top the tackle count for us so he's not excelling there either. Anyway, back on crowds, the Warriors season average is now a couple of thousand better than the Rabbits and three and half thousand more than the Storm.

They seriously need to look at the Storms continued involvement in the competition. They must be a major concern that just won't go away. They have had one of the best sides in the competition in the last 5 years and play a fast open style. They have the best attack in the competition this year and the best defense and are pretty much guaranteed a playoff spot. But week after week they get awful crowds. I mean 8,212 to see them play the Roosters in the weekend? Get real people! They are getting a new ground built in a couple of years I hear and the current ground (Olympic Park) is a shit hole. But all the same the signs look bad with thousands of old fans not showing up at a time when the league average is going up, up and up. In 1998-2000 Melbourne averaged between 12,717 and 13,756. Since then they have dropped virtually every year from 11,969 to 9,088 to 9,626 to 8,887 to 8,564 this year. Either relocate the team to Perth, or Gosford or Wellington or else build that new ground now and start praying yesterday because if the league average starts to creep up to 17,000 and beyond in the coming years they will be gone burgers.

The Cowboys continued their trend of big crowds with 18,932 in Townsville. Their WORST crowd of the season was 17,038 against the Bunnies.

Interesting looking at the Bulldogs attendances. You can see why they quite like travelling across the ditch to Wellington to play matches. When they play at home at the Showgrounds they average about 8,000 but when they play at Stadium Australia they get 20-30,000 each time. While at Westpac Trust Stadium they have got 27,724 in 2001, 24,251 in 2002, 21,989 in 2003 and 13,772 in 2004 when the Warriors had lost 4 from 5 to start the year and were about to implode.

I'm curious about their future. I wonder if they would ever consider moving to Wellington permanently? They have a lot of New Zealanders in their squad and have a deal jacked up with Wellington Rugby League to get first dibs on their junior players and will play a game a year there from next year. Their fans would go nuts with riots in the street but I don't hear much complaining now when they move home games all over the show.

The season average is now up to 16,125 with the total at 2,225,212. They should fall a little bit short of the 3 million mark but I wouldn't be surprised to see that mark felled next season.

And that's enough bloody crowd stats from me.

On the football, in breaking news Hazem El Masri might miss the rest of the season with a visit to a specialist to check out his medial ligament knee injury suffered v the Broncos. He might be out for up to 8 weeks which would basically be until the grand final if they got that far. Without their sharp shooter you can throuw their odds of retaining the title out big time.

The Warriors have named an unchanged lineup to fuck up v the Panthers on Saturday night. Note that if these links aren't opening for you it's because you need to register for the Sydney Morning Herald. It's free and it's a bloody good online paper with stacks more news than you get from the NZ online news sources.

There's mention of the forward pass missed by the refs for the winning try in the Newcastle - Parramatta game here. It was one of those ones where you could use the lines on the field to judge how forward it was. I'd love a dollar for every try I've seen awarded in rugby following a pass between one and 5 metres forward. A recent one being Umaga's pass to Sivivatu which was a good 2 metres forward in the Christchurch test. Hey, not that I was complaining at the time! Some of them are so blatant it's just ridiculous. And forget this "it went back at first but then floated forward". that is basically a physical impossibility. If it ends up going forward from where you threw it then it was probably sent there straight out of your hands. Passes can't turn sideways just for the hell of it.

And anyway, here's a good little article about the recruiting/performance of a few clubs by Roy Masters.

I'll cut out ze bits I like and stick zem up yer panzar!!!
Manly are back in their familiar role, spending big on players developed by other clubs.

The signing of the Storm's Matt Orford for megabucks, forcing incumbent half Michael Monaghan to hooker, is reminiscent of the Sea Eagles buying Western Suburbs hooker Ray Brown when they had Max Krilich.

Manly are the jewellery store of the NRL - if you have a problem, spend up big to solve it.

Wests Tigers, who have now won four games in a row, are lovable underdogs once more. With fans sitting on the roofs of houses overlooking Leichhardt Oval, watching exciting young halves such as Benji Marshall, the joint-venture club combines the entrenched passion of Balmain supporters with Wests' recurring capacity to produce new talent.

Tim Sheens's players are recession-proof. They have an expansive style that means they won't play negatively, or within themselves, when behind or after a couple of losses.

Sydney Roosters are back in their customary role of rich players performing poorly. The "transit lounge" club dumped half Brett Firman, whom they bought from the Dragons, sending him mid-season to North Queensland, where he starred on Saturday night for coach Graham Murray - also shown the door by the Roosters. The Bondi boys are horribly out of sync, just as they were in the days Ron Jones ran the club and bought players like a millionaire making his first visit to a supermarket. They have too many packets of soap powder and not enough sausage.

The Dragons are winning at Kogarah with a centre named Gasnier, supported by strong forwards recruited from the Illawarra region. With fans sitting in trees outside the ground watching a forward named Young, time stands still at Kogarah.

Parramatta chief executive Denis Fitzgerald continues to resurrect his ancient prejudices, making life harder for his players, who have now lost two in a row. With his little black book grown to the size of the Yellow Pages, he risks turning Parramatta into his personal fallout shelter.

If the Storm should gain a home final against the Eels, Fitzgerald's demand that Melbourne be axed from the NRL will resonate in the Olympic Park home dressing room.

Melbourne supporters now understand the game as well as their vocal counterparts at Kogarah or Aussie Stadium, screaming advice to the referee.

Former Rooster Brad Fittler watched forlornly at Olympic Park on Sunday as referee Tony Archer blew petty penalties against his team, saying: "Another penalty for the crowd."

While AFL fans ridicule the notion that someone can announce he is joining another club in the forthcoming season, bringing into question his commitment, Orford offered yet another reminder that rugby league players render the argument ridiculous. When he threw a pass that was intercepted, he beat the ground with his fist in frustration.

The Bulldogs are back, winning tight encounters. As Benny Elias might also say, "There's a bit of dog jevu" about Canterbury's relentless rise to repeat as premiers, meeting the resurgent Knights, led by the revitalised Andrew Johns, away from Newcastle.

Gallop had some hint that the Dogs were back barking when the family pet, Shirley, went down with strychnine poisoning.

Gallop's wife, Kathy, returned from netball with Shirley and the neighbour's dog gasping their last breaths.

A high-speed rush to the vet, with the dogs attached to canine life-support systems of drips and anaesthetic, rigged up by a next door medical specialist, allowed the mutts to survive.

Having outlayed $3700 to ensure Shirley lived, Gallop saw the links with the resurrection of the Bulldogs, fined $500,000 for salary cap breaches in 2002.

"You can't keep a good dog down," he conceded.

He could have also said, "You can't keep the salary cap screwed down" because new allegations of breaches are circulating around the game.

In a season in which yesterday's ritual lies on a scrap heap waiting to be reborn as tomorrow's trend, the most symbolic speech came on the eve of the third and deciding State of Origin match in Brisbane.

QRL chairman John "Cracker" McDonald, noting that the series was tied 1-1 and that, after 25 years of the contest, the number of games won by the Blues and Maroons was equal, told the assembled guests: "It's going to be a different night but in the end, it's going to be the same."

Here's to you Mr Robinson 

Police Commissioner Rob Robinson, said tonight that any unprofessional or criminal behaviour by Police was neither tolerated nor condoned. Responding to Television 3’s 20/20 programme, the Commissioner said the vast majority of Police past and present did a thoroughly professional job with the highest standards of integrity.

This is an extract from the press statement the honourable Police Commissioner Rob Robinson released in March 2004 after the media raised allegations that groups of Rotorua police for were gang raping women in the 1980s.

The allegations, which the lady also made to police in the mid-1990s and yet were swept under the carpet for a decade, proved serious and credible enough for these former policemen to now be standing trial.

(And to think the police (10/30) were rated a more trustworthy occupation than journalists (25/30) in the latest Readers Digest trustworthy profession poll.)
One of the country's top police officers, Assistant Commissioner Clinton Rickards, and two former police officers, Bradley Shipton and Robert Schollum, are before Rotorua District Court judge Chris McGuire for a depositions hearing on a raft of 20 collective charges. All three have denied the allegations strenuously.

Anyhows, some readers may be unaware that Police Commissioner Robinson also worked at the Rotorua police station for the Criminal Investigation Bureau, albeit for a short period, in 1985.

While Mr Robinson may now be making grandiose public statments about police integrity - and this is straight from the Herald's court report - it appears unprofessional behaviour is indeed tolerated, perhaps even encouraged, within the police:
The men were interviewed in 1995 and each acknowledged a consensual sexual relationship with Louise Nicholas, including a group sexual encounter.

Lets remember here - regardless of whether it was rape or consensual sex - that groups of policemen were fucking teenage girls during work hours and while in uniform:
Mrs Nicholas said she had twice seen a marked police car at, or near, Louise's flat when Louise had called her to come.....

What I find difficult to understand, Mr Robinson, is that despite Rickards 1995 admissions here's a story from the Waikato Times showing you urged Rickards to take up a position as a police commissioner:
Clint Rickards, Waikato police district commander, has been appointed to a plum role as one of three assistant police commissioners, based in the capital. Mr Rickards began his new job earlier this week. His appointment was to come into effect in October, but Police Commissioner Rob Robinson wanted him to start early. "He said I had my fingers in the pie already, so I might as well come down and start the job early," Mr Rickards said from Wellington today.

Do you really expect the public to believe, Mr Robinson, that you were unaware of what Rickards and co. were getting up to in Rotorua when you worked there?

Indeed, here's another press release where you are appointing Clint Rickards to the Auckland district commander position in 2003.

Were you really ignorant of the fact, Mr Robinson, that the man you were promoting was investigated by the police for rape and admitted to engaging in group sex?

In fact, Mr Robinson, despite Rickards admitting to engaging in this behaviour and having a rape allegation hanging over his head you promoted him all the way to 2nd top cop.

How can it be that you now claim the police neither condone nor tolerate unprofessional behaviour and yet you happily had this officer as your right-hand man?

Correct me if I'm wrong, Mr Robinson, but it appears this type of behaviour is indeed "condoned", or at the very least your record shows you "tolerated" it for nearly two decades.

An educated guess would say that the Police Commissioner, which afterall is the highest position in the police force, would have known of these serious allegations against senior staff, especially considering these men were once you colleagues, yet it seems you promoted Rickards nonetheless.

Your actions, Mr Robinson, seem to suggest that you yourself do not achieve the "highest standards of integrity" you attribute to "vast majority of police past and present".

Mr Robinson, the public may be interested to know if you believe your actions meet the level of integrity required as an officer of the law?

And if not Mr Robinson, should you resign?

Further, Mr Robinson, when the evidence strongly suggests you've willfully ignored these most serious allegations do you choose to run to the media when police officers are found to have mostly harmless porn on their e-mails?

Why did you not make it clear to the public that ordinary police actually do not have widespread internet access - they can only send and recieve e-mails - and that therefore make it obvious the police are not actually sitting at work trawling the world wide web for porn?

Finally, Mr Robinson, is it true you are nothing more than a political puppet who takes the rap and sells out ordinary officers in order to take the heat off the bumbling fool that is the police minister?

I eagerly await your reply.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Modify This! 

It's the most exciting thing to happen in Penticton, British Columbia since, well, since a statue of a nude guy holding a bag was placed in a central roundabout, only to have his penis knocked off, before eventually being relocated to a private vineyard for his own safety. Such things don't go down to well in the generally conservative Okanagan region (nor do they with local do-gooders like Graham Capill, who once objected to a Maori carving with a penis). But last night the local culture war in Penticton was taken to new heights (or lows) by the Sextreme Makeover Competition at the Element Nightclub.

The basic theme of the competition was that one "lucky" young lady would be win a new set of breasts, courtesy of the Nightclub giving $3000 to a local medical professional. Luckily, Mildred Wakefield and her Holiness Bible Movement supporters weren't going to take this lying down, and they took to the sidewalk in a musical protest.
“We need to show these young girls there's something better out there for them, they don't need to be exploiting their sexuality,” said Ms. Wakefield. “Why don't they come sing with us?”
Sadly, the elderly gospel singers were also firm believers in the "early to bed, early to rise" mantra, and had gone home before most of the patrons arrived around midnight.

The winer of what appears to have been a fairly tasteful event was a Ms. Tiffany Friesen (22), whose image can be seen via the previous link. She is described by the Globe & Mail (accurately) as a slim, tanned woman from Fort St. John, who said her good looks aren't enough for her. I wonder if she travelled the 755 km distance just to be in the running?

Anyway, this is the point at which medical ethics enters the body modification picture, with the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons contending a woman's judgment can be clouded when she is given breast implants for free (as opposed to having some bloke pay for them??). Indeed, it has adopted strict guidelines barring doctors from doing surgery on contest winners, claiming the "extreme makeover" trend is unethical and in bad taste. Which is a bit rich from an industry which makes a fortune from cosmetic surgery, not least in BC!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Sun also rises? 

In Ecuador news from the U.S. is usually a mix of business reports, famous people reports, and the odd odity that may arise from the white house. But sometimes the bits of humour leak through.

Opening the press yesterday I see that the U.S. wants to change daylight savings time, for reasons to do with energy conservation. I'm not entirely sure how that logic works, but what was hillarious was the following quote, courtesy of the CBC:

'U.S. farmers complained they would suffer because the amount of light animals receive adversely affects their mating cycles. '

Now, maybe I'm out to lunch here, but the actual amount of daylight hours doesn't change one bit, does it? It's just that the gullable humans are either awake or asleep through parts of them.

If farm animals are lucky enough to actualy be outside they'll still get up when the sun comes up, regardless when farmer jeb rolls out of bed.

Moreoever, the industrialized farming practices in the U.S. have fucked up animal's cycles so much that it wouldn't matter if the sun ever came up. The poor creatures who are confined to barns for their entire existance eat, shit and get pregnant without ever seeing the sun (this is mostly the case for hogs and chickens). Dairy cows are always pregnant, regardless of the season so they can keep the milk production up.

If George Bush could actually change the amount of daylight hours, that would be an impressive feat. If he could also invest in educating his country men in knowledge of basic science, that would be even a greater miracle I reckon.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Drug Rumour Wheel 

Boy this thing is squashing a few people under it as it rolls on.

Fans of Carlotte Dawson and Lana Coc-Kroft can rest assured that they ARE NOT, I repeat ARE NOT involved in the three ring circus we have going on in NZ cyberspace.

However a new name has surfaced which cracks us up here at blogging it real. But since we don't feel like getting our site closed down we won't be sharing it. I think it's one of the names that will pop up at the trial but they won't be facing any charges.

Anyway, this saga has mean't we are getting hundreds of hits muhahaha. Although there was somebody who came after searching for "refridgerating spliffs". They might be better in the freezer but just make sure you thaw them out afterwards mate.

And before I forget. For those cheap bastards among us there's a NZ blog site which started recently giving advice on saving money about the home. Most of it is obvious crap and boy can the guy who does it get anal, but there's some good wee things that might take you 5 minutes to do and save you some buckaroos.

Juicy gossip and NRL Round 20 

For anyone interested the Sydney Morning Herald is hinting at the drug-sports stars identities.
Two high-profile former league stars have been implicated in a drugs ring, broken by Auckland police, that allegedly supplied methamphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy. The two, who are household names in New Zealand, have had their identities suppressed while police continue to pursue what they say is a white-collar drugs ring. But they were named during a court appearance this week by six men arrested in raids on 10 properties. One is a former international believed to be in Europe. The name of a former All Blacks star is also understood to have popped up during the month-long joint investigation between New Zealand police and Customs, code-named Operation Aqua. The second former league player is also overseas and told The New Zealand Herald he didn't plan to return home "for a while". The alleged ringleader, a 55-year-old company director who faces 22 charges, has been denied bail.

It will be interesting to see if the former All Black who is implicated gets permanent name suppression, or whether that just applies to current All Blacks who beat their wives.

It's also intriguing why the SMH doesn't just name them - Kiwi name suppression orders don't apply over the ditch.

Anyway on to current league stars and the world famous Bennyasena versus NZ Herald's league reporter Peter Jessup tipping competition.

The Warriors ($1.37), who welcome back Steve Price, are heavy favourites to beat the Raiders ($2.90) in tomorrow night's match at Ericcsson and if they play like they did against the Roosters last week they should be a shoe-in.

Then again, if they play like they did against the Cowboys in Townsville three weeks ago they'll lose by 28 points.

Anyways, enough hypothesising and lets do the picks; after 19 rounds of the NRL Jessup has tipped 69/124 and bennyasena is right behind on 68/124.

But Bennyasena ain't gonna take the lead this weekend cause our tips are identical.
Bulldogs v Broncos - Broncos

Warriors v Raiders - Warriors
Cowboys v Panthers - Cowboys
Eels v Knights - Eels

Storm v Roosters - Storm
Tigers v Rabbits - Tigers
Dragons v Sharks - Dragons

For anyone who has a spare $10 for a punt Australian tipster onthepunt is urging the gambling community to get behind the Roosters ($2.80) against the Storm.

I'd take the Roosters with the 7.5 points start at $1.82.

Here's my "if only dreams came true Round 20 tips" to boost the Warriors into the top 8:
Broncos to thrash Bulldogs
Warriors thrash Raiders
Panthers thrash Cowboys
Knights against Eels - doesn't matter either way
Storm to thrash Roosters - (or even a draw)
Rabbits to thrash Tigers
Sharks to thrash Dragons

Tosser of our Times V 

Apparently being married to an Asian is a bad thing so I'll have to re-examine my life.

Well done Peter Dunne.

You now join an elite group of tossers who have graced our left hand column.

For the record the recipients of the infamous honour are as follows:

I Murray "Culture War" McCully
II Robert "Pie in the Sky" Milton (Air Canada)
III John "Smarmy Tosser" Tamihere
IV Matt "Regressive" Robson
V Peter "Bigot" Dunne

Unfortunately there are dozens more who could have appeared over time but we simply can't keep up. The world is filled with tossers! Mainly politicians it seems.

Hard and Fast 

Watched the first session of the Ashes last night and thought to myself, if the Aussie batsmen are getting whacked and knocked over the Poms won't fear much better and sure enough... At least the English have the bowling attack to test the Aussie batsmen during the series. But unless they get some runs on the board it will be a pasting for them you'd have to guess.

And Warne is in the limelight again. Can't blame him for trying, he certainly seems creative...
The Daily Mirror published new allegations about the spin bowler's sex life, this time involving a 20-year-old student named Rebecca Weedon.

Ms Weedon claimed Warne had begged her to persuade his wife into having a threesome, in the hope it would save his marriage, which was on the verge of collapsing after 10 years.

She told the paper the 35-year-old had coached her on how to get Simone to agree to the sex session by pretending to be an obsessed fan.

She accused him of boasting about his exploits with other women and being more worried about his hair falling out than his doomed relationship.
Matt Orford has left the Storm and signed with Manly. The Storm offered him more than they had ever offered any player (470,000 big ones) to stay but apparently Manly offered even more. Rich pricks! And Manly bosses have come out with a real morale boosting speech for the crumbling Sea Eagles by saying:
the Sea Eagles had overachieved early in the season and their eighth position was approximately where the coaching staff had expected them to finish this year.
There go their top 8 hopes. There's nothing like mediocrity disguised as professionlism (no I'm not quite sure what that expression I just made up means either, could be profound though).

On rugger, Luke McAlistar has been approached by Wigan to switch codes. His father played league in England for a decent period in his younger days.

Back with League, and the Warriors have signed Roosters premier league captain and halfback Grant Rovelli on a three-year contract. I hear it's a good signing but who the hell is going to know for real until he actually plays first grade? I hope he can goal kick though that's for real!

And a massive game tonight between the Broncos and the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs don't absolutely have to win since their recent wins have given them a little breathing room but a loss will put them three points outside the 8 with not too many games left in the season.

The Friday night games (traditionally 'match of the round') in coming weeks see more tasty offerings with the Dragons at home to the Roosters in Round 21, the Cowboys v Dragons in Round 22, Eels v Bulldogs in Round 23, and the Tigers v Bulldogs in Round 24 (believe it or not that could be the game which seals the Tigers spot in the playoffs).

Other huge games in Round 20 are the Warriors v Raiders, Storm v Roosters and Dragons v Sharks. I'm picking the next two weeks to go a long way to showing who are the contenders and who are the pretenders. It's going to go right to the wire for most teams but I expect their to be a slight splintering of the pack very shortly.

Speaking of going right to the wire. Come back later this avo to check out the conituation of the race for glory between Bennyasena and Peter Jessup!!!

And with four rounds remaining in the Bartercard Cup the Mt Albert Lions (Helen Clark's team) are sitting on top of the table with 18 points followed by the North Harbour Tigers and Canterbury Bulls on 16. Two points further back are the Counties Manukau Jetz (14) with Hibiscus Coast Raiders and Wellington sitting on 13.

Next year the competition is being reduced from the current 12 teams to ten, possibly nine. The NZRL want to make it more of a regional competition as it's currently dominated by Auckland which has 8 of the sides. They will be divided into North, West, Central, South-East, and South. The existing sides can either merge or try and make a solo bid. It's pissed the teams off unsurprisingly but makes more sense than what they have now which is individual clubs (traditionally covering small areas) attempting to represent sections of Auckland.

The only bid from outside of Auckland at this stage is from Northland. Possible regions for future expansion also include Otago (though I think they are years away from having the player strength) and adding teams to Wellington and Canterbury. They don't want to do that now though because with the Auckland teams set to become stronger the last thing they want to do is make the teams from those areas weaker. Big scores won't do the competition much in the way of good.

Right, I'm off to look for cars (well, off in the sense that I'm going to open trademe's car page to look for cars).

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Peter Dunne is a prick, part II 

Via Frogblog, via Hard News, the powerpoint presentation everyone's been talking about.

And hey, Helen Clark *has* been married to the same person for decades. Pete the Moral Crusader can't even get that right.

Some Winners do Drugs 

Like all the leaders of our major political parties, who "do" alcohol. One of them is even well known for "doing" tobacco.

Like almost every notable sporting representative in our major codes, who enjoy nothing more than a beer or 17 after the game.

And like some of our celebrities in the worlds of TV and blogging. And as Russell Brown implies this morning, the only problem many fiendish users of those drugs deemed illegal is the risk of getting caught:
The slightly shocking truth is that recreational drug users can actually lead effective and successful lives. Unless, of course, they are actually caught.
The sooner we get the moralizing, retributive state off our backs in the area of recreational drug use the better ... we should criminalize only those behaviours (like drink-driving, for example) which pose a clear and manifest threat to the liberties of others.

P.S. Message to Don: the criminalization of cannabis is, in my view, a classic example of wasteful government spending. I eagerly await news of your policy to fund tax cuts by rationalizing the criminal law. Cheers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Who will they turn to? 

...asks Bennyasena, below, in reference to the media's need for a reliable, old fashioned "moral panic" commentator. Who will man the moral barricades in the the absence of the Rev. Graeme Capill? Who will protect societal values and right-thinking people? Who?

Never fear, journos everywhere, you can turn to none other than the Hon. Peter "Boring Git" Dunne. Here he is looking slightly manic after a night out with tobacco lobbyists and gaming industry representatives.

This sanctimonious moron, no doubt hoping to drag a few more Marc Alexanders and Larry Baldcocks back into the next Parliament with him, was back at it this morning, vowing to defend these Islands from the perils of cannabis, whatever the cost may be, and to fight Nandor on the beaches, in the fields and on the streets, for suggesting that possession of cannabis should not be a crime punishable by imprisonment.

Sadly, he wasn't quite Churchillian in his rhetoric. In fact he just resorted to the tired old cliches. Nandor's suggestion sends:

"the wrong message to children" (this logic could be used to criminalize sex ) ...

"at a time when the police and principals are warning of the perils of drugs" (until they find something else to instill fear about) ...

"what with methamphetamine and everything" (I see, and what's the link to cannabis here, other than that people like you have chosen to criminalize them both?)

How about we send children the message that adults are sovereign over their own bodies, and taxpayers' money will not be wasted on prosecuting and imprisoning people for smoking plant material they want to smoke? We should be teaching this shit in schools!

Right, time to head home, spice up my orange juice with whatever might be lying around, and settle in for a night with the morally upstanding employees of TVNZ.

My Two Cents 

All day all I've been hearing about this morning's sports stars who, oh my god, were using and possibly even selling drugs.

Has anyone spared a thought for the poor media - who will they turn to for their moral panic quotes now that Graham Capill is behind bars for fucking children? Even if it was consensual....

I'm sure the name suppression makes this drug story twice as intriguing - just as it did with Capill, well, that and the sucker punch he got.

Even the brilliant blogger Russell Brown was harping on about the not-so mysterious stars.

Still beats Brown's depression-inducing posts about computers and these fucking boring pricks.

Thank god the Kiwi blogosphere still has norightturn - shouldn't this guy be president or something?

Anyways, here's my two cents:


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Nandor's Bill 

Misuse of Drugs (Cannabis Infringement) Amendment Bill - Questions and Answers
Press Release by Green Party

What does this Bill do?

The Bill creates a new approach to cannabis. Personal possession and use will now be dealt with by an instant fine, similar to a parking ticket, rather than by court proceedings.

Measures to prevent young people using cannabis are strengthened.

The Misuse of Drugs (Cannabis Infringement) Amendment Bill is a modest proposal for cannabis law reform. It contains measures to help break the link between cannabis and hard drugs, remove the disproportionate punishment of a criminal conviction, protect young people, free up police and court resources and retain a disincentive to use.

Why have you launched this Bill now?

In previous election campaigns there has been a lot of scaremongering about the Greens and cannabis.

The bill shows that we have listened to the concerns of New Zealanders and responded with solution that has broad-based support. Most people agree that adults should not get a criminal conviction for personal use of cannabis, but want to see a message that drug use is discouraged.

This bill does that.

The Misuse of Drugs (Cannabis Infringement) Amendment Bill puts on the table exactly what the Greens propose by way of cannabis law reform following this election. If it is not drawn from the ballot of members bills before the election, it would form the basis for discussions on this issue after the election.

If we are in a position to do so, we will also ensure this Bill is accompanied by the comprehensive drug education programmes that have always been part of our policy.

When will adults get an instant fine rather than go to Court?

Possession of up to 28 grams of cannabis, or up to 5 grams of cannabis preparations, will now be subject to an instant fine of $100.People who grow up to 5 small plants (with a total dry weight of up to 450grams) will be subject to an instant fine of $100, provided there is no evidence they are growing them for sale.

This is to recognise that some people will grow their own and reduce the illegal market for cannabis.

What about selling cannabis?

Sale of cannabis will remain illegal.

Under current law, possession of more than 28g of dry cannabis is deemed to be for supply and the onus is on the defendant to prove that it is not for supply. This bill retains that provision.

How does this compare to alcohol and tobacco?

Alcohol and tobacco are commercially produced and traded. That would remain illegal for cannabis under this bill. However personal use and possession is decriminalised and attracts only an instant fine. A financial penalty remains for cannabis use, but possession of small quantities no longer attracts a criminal record.

Is this approach taken anywhere else?

This Bill adopts a similar approach to that taken internationally in an increasing number of countries. South Australia and ACT both use "expiation notices" to avoid criminal convictions for small amounts of cannabis use.

What other restrictions will there be for cannabis?

Cannabis will be covered by the Smokefree Environments Act. In addition, the Bill creates a new offence of smoking, using or cultivating cannabis within 100 metres of any area used mostly by people under 18. This attracts an instant fine of $500.

This is a NEW offence, specifically aimed at keeping cannabis away from kids, and is in addition to existing penalties for trying to sell cannabis. The current law makes no recognition of age distinctions of this kind.

What will this Bill mean in practice?

This Bill breaks the link between cannabis use and hard drugs. By recognising that many adults cannabis consumers will discreetly grow a few plants for their own use, rather than buy cannabis from drug dealers, it means that they are less likely to come into contact with hard drugs.

What will be the effect on young people?

This Bill pays more attention to young people than the present law does.Any person under 18 found with cannabis will be required to attend a compulsory drug education programme.

A new offence is created of smoking, using or cultivating cannabis within 100 metres of any area used most by people under 18.

Tinny houses will be starved of a significant chunk of their customers, and police resources will be freed up to focus on dealers, especially those selling to young people, as well as on crimes of violence and theft.

Did Nandor mention scaremongering?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Wrap This! 

There is a god and she should strike down Tim Mander and that cheating arse bandit that ran up and down the sideline on Saturday night pretending to help proceedings.

We need Russell Smith in a few of our games in the rest of the year because even if the Warriors do play well they are more than likely to get absolutely shafted in one or more games which will destroy them altogether. Actually last time the Warriors played the Roosters at Ericson the Warriors had what looked like a reasonable try disallowed while the Roosters had a very dodgy looking one allowed in a 4 point loss. I was in amongst the rowdy lot and they abused the hell out of the match officials for about 30 minutes without rest. Now that's a real crowd.

As anybody who reads my top quality journalism knows I still can't see the Warriors making it and we shouldn't get too carried away by their win on Saturday night. The Roosters have been out of sorts lately and were missing Michael Crocker, Adrian Morley, Ryan Cross and Chris Flannery. The first two being the heart of their forward pack and Cross being the mongrel that each team needs (well unless it's Monty 'release me now!' Betham.

The good news is that Steve Price might well be back for the Raiders game. I just hope that if he is back the rest of the guys don't go soft like they usually do after a win. I seem to recall a win a few weeks ago being touted as our best since 2002, namely the win over the Broncos. But what did we serve up the very next week but an absolute crap performance against a depleted Cowboys out-fit who have since lost to cellar dwellars the Knights away and then the Rabbitohs at home!!! In fact they have now lost four of their last five and if the Warriors had showed any class at all they would have been outside the top 8 by now.

Instead it's congested as hell with SIX teams on 22 points.
32 Broncos
26 Eels
24 Sharks
22 Storm
22 Cowboys
22 Dragons
22 Tigers
22 Sea Eagles

Please try harder
22 Raiders
21 Bulldogs
20 Roosters
18 Warriors

14 Panthers
13 Rabbitohs
8 Knights

What's amazing about how hype overtakes teams all the time. Once again the Dragons have been getting talked up and talking up themselves. Somebody should point out to them that we've heard it all before about the Dragons. in fact we've heard it for about 15 years. They beat the Sea Eagles who have fallen off the rails (as I predicted muhahaha) and lost 4 straight and 5 from 6. The radio commentators were saying it was their worst performance of the year and Des Hasler must be wondering where to go from here when his paint stripping half-time tirades don't work. Fortunately they have a bye next week which will move them up to 24 points but their points for and against is ratshit so I think they may well dip out of they finish on 28 points meaning they will need 3 wins from their last 6 matches over North Queensland, Brisbane, Newcastle, the Sharks, Warriors and Raiders. I have a feeling their fans are going to be crying come September 4 when the final round finishes.

The Dragons on the other hand have a horror run home where they face the Sharks, Roosters, Cowboys, Broncos and Eels along with a bye and a likely 2 points v the Knights. They are very borderline to make the 8 IMO.

Tony Kemp was also talking about corners being turned by the Warriors after scraping home against a team out of sorts and out of key players. Save that stuff for when you've turned the corner and made it to the front door. The Warriors have turned more corners and found themselves back at the start more times than any side in the competition in the last decade. Fuck even Souths have managed back to back wins which is unheard of!

Just dug this up to highlight my point: "I think today we turned a corner," said coach Tony Kemp, who couldn't wait to watch the video.

That was after the Broncos game.

And what of the once mighty Roosters?! Well if they get their full side back out on deck then they should scrape into the playoffs but they just haven't consistently come up with the goods this year. And their run home is going to be very tough. They are sitting 2 points back from the top 8 now and they have a huge game away to the Storm next Sunday. If they lose that then you can put a big question mark by them to make it. Especially when you look at the their remaining matches v Storm (a), Dragons (a), Panthers (h), Sharks (a), Rabbitohs (a), Broncos (a), Bulldogs (h). Those last two clashes are going to be ABSOLUTELY HUGE!!! Unless they win their next 5 games they will be on a knife edge by then. The playoffs will be starting early me thinks!

And Park Ji-sung has had his first run for Manchester United. He's the first Korean to be signed by a premier league side. Following the World Cup Guss Hiddink, the Korean coach took him and Lee Young-pyo (a primary school classmate of my wife for some name dropping there) to PSV Eindhoven. In addition a few others went to other decent leagues in Europe though with mixed success. A bad mix shall we say. The two at PSV have done well though and starred for them in their run to the Champions League semi-finals.

And as a side note the New Zealand University Rugby League team managed to topple Australia in the World Champs in Australia thus defending their title. They won 17-8. My father played for the NZ side back in his uni days which probably explains why I was roped into being ballboy/sandboy for the inaugural WC final at Western Springs Stadium between the same two teams as a ten year old. New Zealand won that match too though my only clear memories of the match were that it was raining, the players got pissed off with me for not passing them the ball from tap restarts where the ball had been put into touch (HEY IT'S YOUR FUCKEN WINGERS JOB TO DO THAT!), and that I couldn't carry the 10 litre bucket of wet sand out to the goal kickers. I reckon I would struggle to even do that now let alone as a skinny arse white kid in Standard 4.

Friday, July 15, 2005

NRL Round 19 

We're getting down to the business end of the NRL season and I'm picking Round 19 could prove to be a thriller.

First up we've got the Panthers versus the Bulldogs tonight.

The tipster at the Australian betting website onthepunt is picking the Panthers to win in an upset and I hope they do - I'd love to see them break the Bulldog's back - but I wouldn't hold my breath.

For a team simply stacked with unquestionable talent - Rhys Wesser, Luke Lewis, Preston Campbell, Craig Gower...... how the Panthers are sitting third to bottom on the NRL ladder is difficult to fathom.

Then tomorrow night the Warriors take on the Roosters in Sydney.

Here's what onthepunt's tipster thought about the game:
I have been making excuses for the Roosters all season but I have finally come to the conclusion that there is something wrong out at Bondi Junction. While their tryline defence is as good as ever, they are putting themselves under too much pressure by dropping the football and failing to turn pressure into points. The loss of the ill-disciplined Michael Crocker might actually help them this weekend as he is increasingly becoming a liability. Unfortunately for the home side Ryan Cross and Adrian Morley are still suspended. Craig Wing´s hamstring was not quite right last week which explains his quiet performance. His fitness is a necessity if they want to hold any hopes of winning this one. While the Warriors lost last weekend I dare say that their performance would have been good enough to beat any other team in the competition. Stacey Jones was back to his best and it is a shame that several close losses earlier in the season will probably cost them a spot in the finals. They have been in a winning position in every one of their games in 2005 and they will certainly be in a winning position at some stage on Saturday. The question is, will they go on to win the match? I say YES.

Bar their game against the Cowboys, the Warriors have been playing decent football lately but just failing to come up with the results; if they can down the Roosters it'll go a long way to making up for losing to the Cowboys in Townsville a fortnight ago.

Then we've got the Sharks at home to the Knights and from a Warriors' point of view hopefully the Sharks will continue on their two loss streak.

The New Zealand Herald isn't even pretending to cover the NRL anymore; today's Super Rugby Friday has Graham Lowe talkin about December's tri-nations tournament and its "league reporter/fisherman" Peter Jessup's tips for the weekend.

The Sea Eagles, sitting in fifth place, have lost their last four matches and this weekend play at home to a heavily depleted St George side. The punters are backing the Sea Eagles.

OK, tips for the weekend:

Panthers vs Bulldogs - Jessup and Bennyasena Bulldogs
Roosters vs Warriors - Jessup Roosters Bennyasena Warriors - there, fuck it, I've said it I STILL BELIEVE. So fuck you too Yamis.
Cowboys vs Rabbits - both Cowboys
Sharks vs Knights - Jessup Sharks Bennyasena Knights
Broncos vs Storm - both Broncos
Raiders vs Eels - both Eels
Sea Eagles vs Dragons - both Dragons

To date Jessup's picked 65/117 while Bennyasena is on 64/117.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

New hit counter put Yamis' mind at ease. I (re)started it at 5000 just for the sake of it (not quite as arbitrary as NZ First's immigration policy). Nominations for a new hero and new villain are also welcome. New heroes had better get in quick before Dan Vettori takes 10 wickets for 2 runs in Zimbabwe (or some Pom single-handedly wrenches the Ashes from the Ozis' grasp).

Getting the Bash 

We've wondered aloud before at bloggingitreal about the sanity of Labour MP John Tamihere.

For anybody who saw him last night on Prime shadow-boxing and talking tough about how he wanted to bash television reporter Duncan Garner, who outed him for taking a $195,000 golden handshake he had promised the public he wouldn't, there will be no more lingering doubt.

Tamihere is fucking nuts.

If I had been Tamihere I would have told the reporter that I'd been joking about boxing Garner - or the two politicians he named - because I knew they were cowards who would never step in the ring.

But he didn't, he acted out his tactics for each of the guys, hurled insults at them, and laughed off the Prime reporter's suggestions that it was inappropriate for sitting MPs to want to fight reporters who're just doing their jobs.

He finished the interview by saying something along the lines of "the boss ain't going to be happy when she sees this".

No shit Sherlock Holmes.

In saying this, I would definitely have watched Fight For life if Garner had agreed to the duel.

I wonder though if Tamihere side-show realises he's history come September and is just trying to attract as many headlines as possible before he becomes unnewsworthy?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Looking Into My Crystal Rugby Balls 

So it seems that rugby in the Southern Hemisphere may be in for another huge shakeup in the next 1-10 years. I'd like to be more specific but in this day and age who the fuck knows?!

The latest is a 2nd tier type competition involving their four Super 12 teams (minus Wallabies) plus Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Japan called the wonderfully imaginative 'Super 8'. And word has it that it's almost certain to be rubber stamped very shortly. This has come about the same time that South Africa has been rumoured to be courting Northern hemisphere nations in order to get them to vote for their bid for the 2011 World Cup. Their selling points are a possible move to join their regional club competition once their Super 14 deal expires and moving the World Cup to July-August which would suit the Northern Hemisphere sides more than the current September-October plans which would suit our climate more!.

To be honest if that comes true I'll be elated (them joining the North rather than them winning the 2011 World Cup). South Africa has always been and will always be a non-entity in the Super 14. It's too far for them to travel and they don't win on the road. The competition is all about money and not actually about... competition. However money could well save us because the South Africans will make more playing in the lucrative European market and they will also not have to travel so far, not have to change time zones and not have to get their arses whipped every year.

Once that happens (and I believe it's inevitable) there will be two choices facing New Zealand and Australia. One is to allow the Pacific nations plus Japan to join the Super 14 as replacements though I would like to see the competition split into two pools to avoid it becoming this long drawn out stale competition. Let's have this as a fast, hard-fought competition that is all over in 8-9 weeks. The other option is to cut it down to a Super 9 with just NZ and Australian teams but that would be about as appealing as a dinner engagement with Stephen 'living in an imagined future' Jones and Sir Clive 'dreaming of the past' Live.

A third option and one which I have favoured in the past but is unlikely to eventuate is the New Zealand sides break away completely and play each other home and away giving an eight match round robin followed by the top two teams playing a straight final or two plays three to meet the top side away in the final.

As a possible extension Australia could have the comp with the Pacific nations running at the same time and at the end of it the two winners meet in a 'SUPER' final. I can't see that happening though as the Pacific sides would want to be at full strength meaning the NZ teams would be missing some of their Pacific players. Which they fucking well should but that's moves me on to the next issue...


Steve Tew, who is on random-spit-out-anything-damage-control today has come out and said that they are worried about this proposed Super 8 competition because New zealand NPC teams will lose their good Pacific players. And then he goes and talks about there being a lot of issues to talk over for that comp to work, such as arrangements for the Northern Hemisphere based Pacific players to be released by their clubs.

Kind of contradicts himself there a tiny bit.

But their latest effort at being stupid sees Tew and the NZRFU counter-proposing a New Zealand 'Junior' (what the fucks that name all about?!) and Australia A side playing an annual competition against the Pacific Nations + Japan.

So what does that mean Steve? Not only will the NPC sides be missing their All Blacks a lot of the time but they'll also be missing the next 25 players as well? That's the top 40-50 players who will miss at least the first round of the NPC. And they have also mentioned including New Zealand Maori as well so you could amp that up to 70+ players missing from the first half of the NPC.

Let's face it, that comp is going to be a shambles. Sides like Auckland and Canterbury will be fielding straight B teams in the first round and struggling like crap. I'm sure the crowds will be pouring in to see 15 no names straight from club football who will all be replaced in two months.

What should really happen is the Tri-Nations get's shoved up it's arse and we expand to include the Pacific sides plus Argentina and possibly Japan. Playing our b teams against them is insulting. We know for a fact that Samoa is definately capable of competing with any side in the world as long as it has it's full side on the park and has a chance to prepare and play at the top level consistently. Fiji and Tonga have also shown at times in the past that they would be much more competitive units with the same opportunities.

Instead of 6 games v Australia and South Africa each year (yawn) we split the 8 teams into two groups with the top side from each playing in a final. Each year it get's re-graded.

For example we are in a pool with Argentina(A), Samoa(H) and Japan(A) with the other pool having Australia, South Africa, Tonga and Fiji. At the end of each year it get's regraded so it's not the same sides meeting each year.

Each year we play one Pacific nation anyway, so what difference is playing two crap sides instead of one going to make?

Early March - Mid May: 'Super 5' 9-10 weeks or Super 14 with the Pacific nations plus Japan and Argentina over the same number of weeks split into 2 pools

Late May - Early July: Pacific Cup (or whatever the hell involving a minimum of three games for each side plus final for the top two teams)

Mid July - Late October: NPC (12 teams not 14 with a full round robin plus top four playoffs)

* Northern Hemisphere sides can tour during the first half of the NPC.

Late November - Late December: Northern Hemisphere tours (3-5 games)

And for something random. Obviously it would get rejigged in World Cup years which already happens anyway, but every 3-4 years or thereabouts the Pacific Cup gets put aside and teams go touring all over the world. New Zealand hosts South Africa for 6 weeks or we tour their country or whatever. Bear in mind we would only be playing them once a year (or not at all some years) and we won't be playing their Super 14 teams at all.

A bit of romance and intrigue back in the game. I'm horny just thinking about it. Where are those crystal balls?

In the meantime feel free to comment and come up with your own ideas at the discussion board that has been suffering a slow inhumane death recently.

But Nothing Comes Out; Just a Bunch of Gibberish 

This must take the cake as the shittiest press release I've ever read:

Unfairness to insured home car owners

Unfairness to fully insured homeowners and car owners.
3rd party automobile insurance is supported by the Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand.
IBANZ has identified this as another area where fully insured taxpayers, as motorists in this example get to pay twice. In declaring support Chief Executive Denis Orme stated:
"We continue to be concerned by people in New Zealand being under/uninsured, and the obligation this places on all taxpayers."
He went on to say: "The other area assuming more significance because of climate change relates to under/uninsured homeowners in flooded areas. We have seen government aid to these uninsured people and this is unfair on taxpayers throughout New Zealand who maintain full insurances.
This is the same situation for uninsured motorists, where fully insured motorists as taxpayers carry the burden for those who are under/uninsured."

Monday, July 11, 2005

Back in Black 

Just back from my North American meanderings, taking in British Columbia and Texas (or, at least, small parts thereof). Texas was interesting to say the least ... Fort Worth being a classic "donut city" in the sense that there's no one in the downtown after about 5.30pm.

By that time everyone's deserted the city for the suburbs, leaving a great "hole" in the centre. There were essentially no shops, for example, just towering glass skyscrapers, and a small bar/restaurant district. Which was kinda fun, what with the warm-to-hot evening weather, and America's propensity for "carding" (requesting ID) from balding 30-something men.

One of the funnier things over the first couple of evenings were small groups of us being (a) the only pedestrians and (b) stopping at intersections and even waiting for cross signals in the complete and total absence of traffic. Crazy, downtown Oamaru is busier than downtown Fort Worth after hours.

Oh yes and you can drink a *lot* of American beer without getting in the slightest bit pissed (just a bit poorer). AirNZ on the way back was pretty crap, what with a nice 90 minutes sitting on the LAX runway, but hey, I missed the rugby hoopla back here, so I'm happy.

Other cultural experiences including going to "the world's largest honkey tonk" (Texas) and "the world's shittiest recycling depot" (BC) complete with all the drunks and weirdos cashing in their empties, including one memorable woman in an old rustbucket car with a screwdriver in the ignition.

p.s. anyone else notice that one of the lovely ladies in Yamis' post below is named Miss BBQ Olive. Saucy!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Ho hum 

Another Warriors season down the crapper. A whacky round as usual with the bottom 3 teams winning and 5 of the bottom 6 teams winning.

Tightens up the table even more.

Updated Predictions (brackets equals actual points while left column figure equals my guesstimate for their final point total):

40 Broncos (30)
38 Eels (26)
36 Cowboys (22)
34 Sharks (22)
32 Roosters (20)
32 Storm (22)
32 Sea Eagles (22)
29 Bulldogs (19)

28 Dragons (20)
26 Raiders (20)
24 Warriors (16)
24 Panthers (14)
24 Tigers (20)
13 Rabbitohs (11)
8 Knights (8)

Warriors to miss the playoffs by the ridiculous margin of 5 points I'm guessing. They are 4 points out of the top eight and they would need not only the Bulldogs to fuck up but also the Dragons, Raiders and Tigers to do the same. And that's assuming the Warriors beat five out of seven from the Roosters, Raiders, Panthers, Eels, Storm, Knights, and Sea Eagles before their bye two points.

I'm picking them to lose next week which kills them and the fans. Then they beat the Raiders in front of a paltry home crowd followed by a tight loss to the Panthers away, a big loss to the Eels at home, a big loss to the Storm away, a win over the Knights at home in front of 23 people and a dog, a 10 point loss away to the desperate Sea Eagles, and a narrow victory over the bye in a mistake ridden performance to close another mediocre, no sorry, fucking shit season.

Stay tuned for my list of who I would sack and who I would keep from the current squad possibly this week but most likely next week.


Oh, and the Lions were so bad it's not worth mentioning it yet again.

Their expectations of themselves were so low by the end it was shameful.

Friday, July 08, 2005

NRL Round 18 

Well, truth be told, last weekend's loss to the depleted Cowboys removes 85% of the faith I had in the Warriors making the top 8.

Their performance in Townsville was appalling - Lance Hohia, in particular, stood out with his simply dreadful game.

Actually appalling and dreadful are too kind to describe their absolutely shithouse play.

With the Tigers hitting their straps the top 8 has never looked so far away.

Anyways, their only chance of redemption is to thump the Bulldogs at Ericcson this Sunday and back it up with wins over the Roosters (away) and Canberra at home the following week - I won't be holding my breath.

OK time for the world famous Bennyasena versus NZ Herald's Peter Jessup league tipping competiton.

Eels vs Dragons - both Eels
Rabbits vs Sharks - both Sharks
Panthers vs Sea Eagles - both Panthers (wouldn't bet a cent on it though)
Storm vs Raiders - both Storm
Warriors vs Bulldogs - both Warriors
Tigers vs Roosters - both Tigers
Knights vs Cowboys - Jessup Cowboys Bennyasena Knights

Last week Bennyasena nailed 6/7 but would have happily forgone those six for the Warriors to have won.

After 110 matches Bennyasena is on 59 whhile Jessup maintains his lead with 61.

Here's what the Aussie punters are backing.

I'm Going Back to Korea to Teach Again!!! 

English Lessons for Miss Koreas Winners: Winners of the 2005 Miss Korea beauty pageant hold their certificates for six months of free lectures at the Korea Times Institute of International Education at the Hankook Ilbo Building in downtown Seoul, Tuesday. They are, from left, Yu Hye-ri, Miss Sports Hankook; Kim Eun-ji, Miss Seoul Economic Daily; Kim Jung-hyun, Miss; Lee Kyung-eun, Miss Korea first runner-up; Kim Ju-hee, Miss Korea 2005; Oh Eun-young, Miss Korea first runner-up and Miss BBQ Olive; and Yu Hye-mi, Miss Hankook Ilbo.

My only 'claim to fame' in this regard is I taught the daughter of the Runner-up to Miss Korea in 1975 in my first year in Korea (2000). And she was quite clearly the daughter of a Miss Korea contestant.

Thought I still have a bit of a hard spot, I mean soft spot sorry, for Lexy here:

And let's not forget the lovely B.I.R. Column of Fame member Lee Hyo-ri:

Meanwhile, imagine this...
Ultra-Fast Internet to Revolutionize Daily Lives
By Kim Tae-gyu

Dacom Corp. CEO Jung Hong-shik, left, and Information-Communication Minister Chin Dae-je, second from left, try out high-speed Broadband convergence Network (BcN)-based video phone service at the Unpyong Culture and Art Center in northwestern Seoul, Thursday. Yonhap

People will be able to download a two-hour high-definition movie in a minute thanks to the super-fast Broadband convergence Network (BcN).
A BcN consortium, headed by the country’s third-largest fixed-line telecom operator Dacom, yesterday started a pilot run of the next-generation network in 350 households in Seoul, Ulsan and Puchon in Kyonggi Province.

The BcN integrates traditionally separated telecom, Internet and broadcasting pipelines into a converged network while seamlessly switching over to a wired or wireless connection.

It promises a speed of 100 megabits per second (Mbps), about 50 times faster than current broadband norm of 2 Mbps provided to 11 million of the country’s total 15.5 million homes.

``BcN subscribers will be able to download a two-hour HD movie in a minute, compared to about an hour needed under the current Internet connectivity,’’ Dacom director Lee Deuk-joo said.

Thanks to its ultra-fast data transmission speed, BcN is regarded as a harbinger heralding a host of futuristic features like voice over Internet protocol, T-commerce, IP-TV and video on demands.

Another attraction of BcN is its price competitiveness.

``Because BcN mixes all conventional lines into a single network, it will save subscribers substantial amounts of money in comparison to today’s users who have to pay charges for telephone, TV and the Internet separately,’’ Lee said.

In recognition of its huge potential, the country’s telecom juggernauts have launched all-out efforts to jump onto the BcN bandwagon.

In addition to the Dacom consortium, another three organizations led by KT, SK Telecom and cable TV operators, gained licenses for the test run of the BcN.

To help the early take-off of the BcN project, the government plans to spend 1.2 trillion won through 2010 while encouraging an 800 billion won investment from the private sector over the cited period.

The Ministry of Information and Communication expects the BcN will become a mainstream connection technology to the Internet by attracting 20 million customers in 2010.

The ministry also forecasts the homegrown scheme will be the goose that lays the golden egg by inducing 111 trillion won-worth equipment production and exports of $50.8 billion by 2010.
07-07-2005 21:13

It would take me 3 days to download a high quality movie on my dialup connection. Or longer?


And why the fuck have the All Blacks decided that Rodney So'oialo is a better open side flanker than Marty Holah and that first Leon MacDonald and second, Luke McAlister are better first fives than Nick Evans who has looked bloody good this year?

Absolutely ridiculous selections and I take back about what I said about Henry and co picking the right players in the right positions unlike Mitchell. It seems that no All Black coach can move away from fucking moronic selection decisions in their second year and beyond at the helm.

The worst thing is that if they are forced to put these players in there in crunch games at the WC it means we have to rejig the team even more which puts more players out of position and it becomes a cascading waterfall heading downstream to 'fuckup river bend'.

By moving MacDonald to first five it then means we have to play Muliaina at fullback when MacDonald is the better option there. By putting So'oialo at openside it means that somebody else needs to fill up his spot at number 8. I'm sure Lauaki will do OK but i still don't think he's up to a starting spot, although my father does consider him "his boy" since he helped him out at Waitemata RFC a lot. Does that make him my big Tongan brother I never had?

Where was I?

OK, even if MacDonald or McAlistar did play well at first five they will receive fuck all games in that position in either AB jerseys or provincial jerseys in the next couple of years so it won't do jackshit to enhance their ability at that spot. So come potential crisis time at the WC we have to throw these guys straight back in at the deep end do we?

If they simply straight swap Evans for Carter, and Holah for McCaw there is minimal disruption and the side doesn't have to worry about 3, 4, 5 etc changes.

there's just been this continual obsession with only trusting guys that are already in the squad to be able to play in any old fucking position. Hell, why not try out Ali Williams at first five with his locking partner Chris jack running off his shoulder at Second Five?

I've never played anywhere near rep level in rugger but there's lot to be said for playing on a team that has the same players in the same spots week after week. Before you know it you are as tight as a Ron Jeremy jockstrap.

London Falling 

Fight for Life had impeccable timing didn't it?

I, like everybody else I'm sure have been waiting for bombs to go off in London and it finally arrived.

Hard to know where the police and politicians will go from here. Obviously they will step their efforts up even more but they have such a large Muslim population and the city is so dense and so busy. Also the underground network is so old, narrow and basically impossible to protect.

I guess they will be raiding houses for any behaviour more suspicious than a packet of crisps being opened from the wrong end.


Can't think what else to say about that until more information comes to light and the repercussions start.

So to completely trivialise things here's my take on State of Origin.

RIP Origin?

or should that read RIP Queensland?

I noticed in game two that there were a distinctive lack of big hitters and hard men in either side and not a single big hit in the match. When was the last time that happened I thought to myself? Well I can now update it to Origin 3 where once again there were no big hits and no real aggro to speak of save the Kennedy flop and aftermath.

I think Queensland have done their dash for the foreseeable future. they used to dominate origin back in the day when they not only had the hunger but also actually had the better players in many years.

After the 1995 series they had a 26-19 lead overall having won 8 series to 6.

Now the Blues have edged ahead 37-36 (the first time they have taken the lead) and lead the series 12-10. Actually if you add the 2 Super league victories to NSW's it's 39-36.

That's an 18-10 record for the Blues in the last ten years and Queensland haven't won a series since 2001 (20-10 if you count S.L.).

Also looking at the scores in the last decade and the majority of Queensland wins have been by tight margins while the Blues have won comfortably many times, especially in recent years, with margins of 8, 12, 1, 2, 1, 18, 1, 16, 4, 4, 18, 40, 18, 28, 7, 23, 1, 22, 10 and 22.

Nine out of the last ten results being by more than a converted try.

Compared to Queenslands most recent winning margins of 6, 1, 15, 1, 18, 26, 8, 30, 4 and 4 where just 4 of the 10 are by more than a converted try.

The commentators were saying that might be the best New South Wales team might be the best ever.

They must be smoking crack. Some of the better Queensland and NSWs teams would wipe the floor with that mob. The reason they won so impressively was that Queensland played like dogs, Lockyer went AWOL in the 2nd half (as he is want to do) and their forwards were about as effective as putting a midget out to mark Shaq.

Let me find a NSWs side from the last 20 odd years to compare it with.

Anthony Minichiello, Timana Tahu, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Matt King, Braith Anasta, Andrew Johns, Ben Kennedy, Nathan Hindmarsh, Craig Fitzgibbon, Jason Ryles, Danny Buderus, Luke Bailey.

Craig Gower, Steve Simpson, Steve Menzies, Andrew Ryan

Here's one that beat a much stronger side than the current one 3-0 in 2000 including a 56-16 savaging in game 3:
Tim Brasher, Adam MacDougall, Ryan Girdler, Matthew Gidley, Jamie Ainscough, Brad Fittler, Brett Kimmorley, Scott Hill, Ben Kennedy, Bryan Fletcher, Jason Stevens, Geoff Toovey, Robbie Kearns

Andrew Johns, David Furner, Adam Muir, Michael Vella

or the 1996 team that also whitewashed the Maroons isn't too shabby either:
Tim Brasher, Rod Wishart, Andrew Ettingshausen, Laurie Daley, Brett Mullins
Brad Fittler, Geoff Toovey, Adam Muir, Dean Pay, David Furner, Paul Harragon, Andrew Johns, Glenn Lazarus

Jim Dymock, Jamie Ainscough, Jason Croker, Steve Menzies

or how about these famous names from the side that whitewashed the Maroons in 1986?
Garry Jack, Michael O'Connor, Chris Mortimer, Eric Grothe, Brett Kenny, Peter Sterling, Wayne Pearce, Noel Cleal, Steve Folkes, Peter Tunks, Royce Simmons
Steve Roach, Terry Lamb, David Gillespie

How many of them AREN'T legends?!

Compare them to the current Maroons side of household names like Berrigan, Thurston, Flannery, Crocker, Smith, Nutley, Ross, Bowman, Parker and Harrison playing with Carroll who was coming back from injury, Thorn who is passed it and Lockyer who went missing in action.

Mate, what would the score be between those sides?! Doesn't bare thinking about.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Fluffy white fleece 

A Toyota commercial in which two animated bulls hijack a farmer's ute to impress two cows and call a ram a "sheep shagger" has prompted 17 complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
Wellington resident Donald McDonald and others complained the term "sheep shagger" was offensive and some voiced concern about the final image showing the vehicle rocking.
Mr McDonald also complained the animated scenario - which involved the Hilux Ute driving through and shattering a flock of sheep before flying over a bank and landing near the cows - also raised issues of animal welfare and dangerous driving.

Fuck off Donald.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Alcohol Strikes Back 

starring Yamis.

Got a nice hangover today but doesn't quite compare to the ones I used to get when my liver actually functioned.

Oh well there goes the work on the house I had planned.

Instead I'll just wallow in self pity for the next 7 hours until the finale of LOST screens.

Anybody been watching it?

Also has anybody been watching The Contender? It's been bloody entertaining even if some of them are complete dickwads.

Comment on the fucking post... please! 

Would anybody who comes here please leave their name or a commet behind please.

I just want to check how many do.

In the past We've had anything from 10-200 visits in a day but I swear to god we must have no more than a dozen serious pundits in a scrotums lair.

Raiiiiiigghhtttt Nice Innut.

Suck on my chocolate salty balls.

The Lions really are shit 

Went out boozing tonight and saw the game up close and personal.

The Lions sat back and watched Auckland A.5 take on their B team and thats how it played out.

I predicted the Lions to win by 12 but the Aucks managed to string a few more plays than I thought they would together and the Lions just basically did jack shit and so they came away with the win.

Pat Lam is the dumbest fuck in world history if he can't get that side into this years NPC semis and I'll persobnally torch his house if he can't because they have way more talent than any other side bar Canterbury but look like crap because they play with no fucking brains.

That was what I said before and that;s what I say after.

Anyway, maybe when I am less drunk and can spell better I'll write about the bar scene but I doubt it cos there was none.

The Barmy Army HQ was less than half full when we left 2 hours after fulltime and even walking around other water front bars and Queen Street you would have been hard pressed finding much action.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Lions sleep tonight 

The stars have realigned and here's a possible outcome as I see it after the latest round of unpredicatable results:

40 Broncos (28)
38 Eels (24)
38 Cowboys (22)
36 Sharks (22)
34 Roosters (20)
32 Storm (20)
32 Sea Eagles (22)
28 Dragons (20)

27 Bulldogs (17)
26 Warriors (16)
26 Raiders (20)
24 Panthers (12)
22 Tigers (18)
11 Rabbitohs (9)
6 Knights (6)

Warriors lose this weekend and their season is over. Forget the mathematical possibilities. In fact I'd go as far as to say that with the loss v the Cowboys it ended right there. I'll be shocked if they even finish in a tie for 8th spot.


Weren't the All Blacks sublime v the Lions?

Not only did they beat them easily on the scoreboard they actually made them look clueless on attack aside from the first 5 minutes. They were resorting to swinging the ball from one side of the field to the other. One of the visitng press has said that they needed to take the All Blacks on up the middle but they conveniently didn't notice that they were trying that and our forward pack were smashing them into the turf each and every time.

This looks like a very good All Black side with the core of it being fairly young and it should have a similar look to it in coming years.

Good on Henry for picking the best players in the best positions and not fucking around with the forward pack like Mitchell did.

New Zealand rugby teams have never needed to experiment with players and teams and tactics to be the best in the world. We just are and it's up to the coach to keep it simple, focus on the basics such as the set pieces and then let our skillful players take the opposition apart.

Throughtou history the only two teams that have matched us consistently have been the South Africans and in the last decade Australia (and periodically in the past).

Neither of those sides are boring to watch are they? They play at a higher skill level and with more physicality than the competition in the Northern Hemisphere and that's why they can beat us plenty of the time.

Statistics can be misleading at times but these speak volumes:
v Australia
79 wins, 5 draws, 37 losses

v South Africa

TOTAL: 113 wins, 8 draws, 64 losses

v Lions

v England

v Wales

v Ireland

v Scotland

v France

TOTAL: 134 wins, 8 draws, 25 losses

The stats v the Lions is particularly telling. They have never done very well in NZ apart from the odd occasion. Much get's made of the wins they have had and the close losses but the game has changed and so have the scorelines to reflect that. The tour has been overhyped as a contest and maybe we should have looked at history more to see that a collection of the best from 4 teams playing the best side in the world away from home is always on a hiding to nothing.

Ain't our fault for being so god damn good though!!!

Need for Speed 

One observation I've made quite a few times in Vancouver over the last few weeks ... speed limits are largely seen as suggestions, outside of the 30kph school and playground zones. Traffic routinely moves at 70-80kph down what we in New Zealand call "main roads", despite the 50 or 60kph posted limits. Couldn't help but think this would be a bloody useful approach when travelling through shit towns on New Zealand's so-called State Highway system, where one is reduced to 50kph for what seems like hours on end. So long Oamaru! On the Canadian highways, I've been sitting at around 120kph, which seemed to be about the median speed, again 20kph above the limit. No fucking speed cameras and no heavy policing means you can just go with the flow. It's quite liberating, and as Ms_Red pointed out upon my jumping behind the wheel here and trying to navigate my way to a reasonably distant location, perhaps I'd be better off paying more attention to the signs and less to the speedometer. Which one can do here. But woe betide anyone who slips through Timaru at a reckless 62kph.

Friday, July 01, 2005

NRL Round 17 

You can stop holding your breath and exhale - it's time for the world-famous Bennyasena versus NZ Herald league reporter Peter Jessup league tipping competition.

To date Jessup sits on 57/103 while Bennyasena's off the boil on 53/103.

Anyways this week's matchups.

Tigers versus Sea Eagles - Jessup and Bennyasena Tigers
Bulldogs versus Storm - both Storm (they're paying $2.60 at the TAB)
Cowboys versus Warriors - both Warriors ($1.82)
Knights versus Roosters - both Roosters
Raiders versus Panthers Bennyasena Raiders Jessup Panthers
Broncos versus Sharks - Jessup Sharks Bennyasena Broncos
Eels versus Rabbits - both Eels.

As the NRL gets down to business and the play-offs get closer by the minute, as the Warriors fortunes hang in the balance, the NZ Herald is outdoing itself in crap coverage.

Today's Super Sport Friday is great if you only want to know about the rugby.

There's one column by Graham Lowe about how he ordered a player taken out in State of Origin in 1991, and one article by Jessup about player transfers - who's going where next season - it doesn't even deserve to be linked to.

It's like deja vu; the Herald abandoning decent league reporting for another season.

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