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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Kiwis v Kangaroos game 1 

Sadly for my fat arse I had to get out the door 12 minutes from time in the test so I got to the train station where I was meeting my footie mates and then headed off to a pcroom to catch the fulltime score. Quite pleased to see that we had 'hung on' for a draw. I say hung on because I assumed at the time that we were probably absorbing more pressure in the final stages than applying it. And judging by the 3-1 drop goal kick stats in favour of Oz I'd say that was how it was.

We kept them scoreless for the last 58 minutes of the match which can hardly have happened too much to Australia as long as I've been following the game.

Anyways, by my reckoning a draw in this wee tourny is about as good as a win. If we beat the Brits in one of the two tests v them (and you'd expect us to), then it will mean that they HAVE to beat the Kangaroos to head us off from the final at Elland Road in Leeds on November 27.

On a slightly different note, why is it that the Sydney Morning Herlad writes better articles about our own team than our own journalists can? You may have seen it at but they just pilfered it as they couldn't give a monkeys arse about league.

Since you may have to register to read it (free though and well worth it) here's some bits I liked. Bit's I liked a lot are bolded.
Having turned his back on the Kiwis after playing for them in the 2000 World Cup, Christchurch-born Carroll was public enemy No.1 at North Harbour Stadium as far as the New Zealand fans and players were concerned.

"He got a few hugs from the Kiwi boys," New Zealand skipper Ruben Wiki said. "The first tackle, I got him with a swinging arm. I couldn't believe the referee let it go. I still get on with Tonie and he said to me, 'what did you do that for?' but I just told him to shut-up. He's on the other side now."

Loudly booed when his name was announced during introductions, the Brisbane lock was heckled and abused throughout the match by the parochial 19,188 crowd and one Kiwi player confided there had been genuine resentment within the team towards Carroll.

The first player to have represented both countries in 90 years, Carroll refused to discuss the issue while in New Zealand but Australian skipper Darren Lockyer acknowledged afterwards that he had been singled out for extra attention. "Tonie copped a bit," Lockyer said. "But it probably fired him up and I thought he went well."

The reaction to Carroll's decision has hardened the resolve of Warriors fullback Brent Webb to ignore the lure of playing State of Origin and stick with New Zealand.

Born and raised in Cairns, Webb had tears streaming down his face during the Kiwi national anthem before the match and was the last player off the field after performing a slow lap of honour with Wiki carrying a New Zealand flag. Despite having a Kiwi great grandmother, Webb is eligible to play for his adopted country only on residency grounds. He is also able to play for Queensland because his agent, Jim Banaghan, had advised Australian officials that Webb was available to play for the Kangaroos - thereby meeting the criteria for Origin selection - but was not chosen.

Asked by New Zealand coach Daniel Anderson, who recruited him to the Warriors in 2001 from the Queensland Cup competition, to play for the Kiwis if he was overlooked by Australia, Webb said he had been more nervous about performing the haka than playing his first Test after housemate Wairangi Koopu taught him the wrong version as a joke [nice one Wairangi, muhahaha].

"We got together with all the boys for a practice and I was there doing different actions from everyone else, which didn't help my nerves," said Webb, whose parents Ayako and Doug, flew to Auckland for the match.

"So we had to have a quick change of plans. It all worked out well and the haka was something else. When you do it in front of a crowd it is something I will never forget."

In contrast to the Kangaroos, New Zealand will have a number of new faces for this Saturday's match after Bulldogs winger Matt Utai and Penrith second-rowers Tony Puletua and Joe Galuvao returned to Sydney yesterday with injuries.

Motu Tony stayed in Auckland after becoming a father for the first time last week and Anderson said he was unsure whether the English-based utility would later join the 24-man squad named yesterday or be replaced.

Bradford captain Robbie Paul is expected to play five-eighth after being one of five players called in from the Super League grand final in England, while teammate Lesley Vainikolo will take Utai's wing spot. The return of North Queensland prop Paul Rauhihi, who missed the first Test with a calf strain, is likely to cause Wiki to move to the second row where he will be partnered by either Ali Lauitiiti or Logan Swann.

Koopu, Warriors teammate Clinton Toopi, Bradford's Shontayne Hape, Bulldogs centre Jamaal Lolesi, Melbourne prop Alex Chan and Wests Tigers back-rower Dene Halatau are the other additions to the team.

And here is further evidence that Sonny Bill Williams knows how to play the game the right way. Here he applies the correct choke grip on a Kangaroo.

and to finish on a random note.

I saw at the end of a story on the kite surfer who died in NZ a few days ago that 17 people have died kite surfing in the world since 2000. That makes me wonder what sport has killed more than any other in that period of time.

The obvious possibilities off the top of my head are boxing, horse racing and motor racing. But boxing doesn't have all that many fatalities because of the shortened bouts and medical folk next to the ring, and motor racing is generally fairly safety conscious these days as well. I'm not counting mountain climbing/hiking (and then dying of exposure) as a sport, but I suppose rock climbing might just about qualify, especially given that I've seen races on tv where climbers try to beat each other to the top of a wall.

Can anybody think of any other sports where a decent number of people are killed?

And no, drowning after fishing or swimming doesn't count either!!!

I'm not sure of the exact figures, but I remember reading once that more people die in the act of playing lawn bowls in NZ than all other sports combined.

So there you have your ultimate killer extreme sport
Fuck, and here's me thinking about taking it up once I hit 65!

No way mate. Not now! Not ever!

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