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

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sack the Coach 

The Warriors aren't up to scratch and until they a) get a playmaker, b) get a general field kicker and c) get a clue how to organise an attack they will be merely competitive losers rather than actual winners.

Their attack was so bad it was laughable. When we were inside the Bulldogs 20 metre zone it was like watching a club side trying to work plays against a brick wall.

You can really only blame the halves for that and possibly the coach for not having them more organised. A coach has to design plays with the players,a nd tell the team what options they should have when in those positions. That is their job along with motivating the team.

The Warriors were running one out too close to the ruck and when they weren't doing that they were passing to a stationary first receiver (ie. Faumuina, Ropati) who would run a few steps sideways and shovel it on to a stationary player (ie. Toopi, Martin, Webb).

The first try we got was an absolute league classic. A half running to the line and a forward running on a slight angle into a hole. Result = 6 points. Why oh why we don't have runners 10-20 metres wide of the ruck hitting holes constantly is beyond me. Look at the way the Bulldogs basically played SBW out in the centres. He was a constant menace out there in a bit of space.

In the second half though we had half a dozen sets hot on attack and it was horrible as mentioned. One play summed it up, we were charging to the line in the left corner and Faumuina (I think) was running off Fien and a 50/50 chance to cross but instead he gets a dummy thrown to him and we go sideways, crap pass to heavily marked player with no room. Result = knock on end of game.

Gee didn't Toopi have an absolute shocker? We should have gone to the sheds 12-8 down but instead he throws an idiotic pass 20 out from our line with nothing on, the Bulldogs pick it and a few moments later Tonga strolls over... or as the match report puts it "the Bulldogs went further ahead after Warriors centre Clinton Toopi offloaded a fancy pass to no-one in the second tackle around his 20-metre line".

Other players who had shitters. Byrne was pretty pisspoor. Did a few good things though. Once again his lack of pace and the Warriors in general was exposed. About 10 players in the comp would have scorched the earth and scored when in his position but alas we have no length of the field speed which costs us crucial points weekly. Mannering was shit. Faumuina was tits on a bull with the ball. He looks like he's playing touch when he gets the ball and THEN decides to take on the line. He has no variation to his game. Sometimes it's OK to pass the ball immediately when you receive it mate. His defence is good though. Taulapapa didn't do much aside from making a couple of errors. he doesn't look too bad though. Gatis doesn't offer much. He's fairly plain out of dummy half.

Positives from the game? Webb was fantastic. Martin was also bloody good. Fien has his moments. Luck also had a very good game. Hey, they are all Aussies (OK Webb is a Kiwi). Koopu was decent. And the forward pack were generally OK apart from lack of direction everytime Price was off the field. Guys like koopu and Guttenbiel need to step up when that happens. How many games have they played now? Step up in the leadership department guys. They say players get reall good after 100 games. Well not that I've seen.

Next week we have a blessed bye so will get two points. They don't matter much thought because we wouldn't have made the top 8 even starting the season on 0 with these guys. No top quality half and an average side all round sees to that.

But fuck it I'll be watching next time out.

Don't Call Me Loyal 

I wrote this yesterday but it wouldn't publish for some reason. Anyway...

I got thinking yesterday about how people go on about how the Warriors are lucky to have such loyal supporters. Well, I beg to differ!!!!

if the Warriors have such loyal supporters can somebody please explain to me why a side with a 2 and 4 record got 8,015 people along to watch them last weekend?

Just for some comparison, if anybody saw the Panthers v Sharks game last night you would have seen what looked like a packed to the rafters Penrith Stadium to watch a side with a 3 and 3 record play one with a 2 and 4 record.

So who's still saying the Warriors are lucky to get 8,000 regulars?

The Sharks who had won one match from their first 5 this year and were coming off a huge flogging by the Tigers got 9,025 along for their match v the Cowboys. The Storm who get criticised for their tragic crowds had 9,084 for their match v the Knights.

Auckland is a rugby league (and rugby union) city. It is the stronghold of league in New Zealand. There are over 20 clubs in the greater Auckland region and we have a population of about 1.3 million. Sydney may have a much larger population but they also have NINE clubs which average between 11,963 and 21,236 this season.

So how can anybody say the Warriors are lucky to have such strong diehard supporters that will stick with them through thick and thin?

I think New zealanders are as fickle as shit. Look at the pathetic crowds that the Breakers get, even when they are playing OK. Look at the Kingz and more recently the Knights. They played like shit but the crowds were a debacle.

The Warriors season average is 8,646 and the competition average is 17,343 which may hold itself and end up being another NRL record. After 7 rounds last year it was higher at 17,899 so there's a good chance it will come in a bit under last seasons record. And the Warriors are a big factor in what is holding it down. As the competition gets unprecedented numbers going through the turnstyles the Warriors crowds are falling away. Everyone (including hosts on radio sport) are talking about how woeful the Super 14 is to watch (anybody see the horrible Waratahs v Highlanders game? it was like pulling teeth and I'd say most Dunedinites were actually at the dentist judging by the huge swathes of empty seats). And those same people are waxing lyrical about the NRL which often screens afterwards being fast and free running. Last night ten minutes into the second half of the league we had seen 6 tries and a wopping 3 penalties, no collapsed scrums, not lineout penalties, hands in the rucks, mauls, stomping knees in the head or touch judges trying to get involved in the action. Oh and the ball had actually been in play for several minutes at a time. But does all this translate to people going to watch Warriors games? Well no.

The Warriors don't have a couple fo things which help other sides. Firstly they don't have any local rivalries and secondly the Sydney sides have the advantage of having decent numbers of away supporters turning up at games. But surely that is an advantage in having sides having to cross the Tasman and getting no support so that Mt Smart Stadium (Ericsson no longer has the naming rights) should be a graveyard for visiting teams, but alas the Warriors home form in the last three seasons has been pitiful.

And look at the Cowboys, Broncos and Knights. They have few away supporters making the trip and they average 21,848, 29,426 and 24,027 respectively. Don't say it's because they win either. The Knights last year took out the wooden spoon with a negative 200 points differential and still averaged 18,469.

That's loyal and that's lucky.

oh well I'm off to watch the Bulldogs tomorrow. Don't call me loyal though. The tickets were freebies ;)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Benji's back 

Benji Marshall has reportedly been given the all clear for next Friday's ANZAC test match against the Kangaroos:
BENJI Marshall is set to join Sonny Bill Williams on a star-studded New Zealand interchange bench in next Friday night's Anzac Test after yesterday being given a clearance to make his comeback for the Kiwis - provided he wasn't in the starting line-up.
In an act of selflessness by Wests Tigers, the NRL premiers have agreed to let Marshall return from a dislocated shoulder three weeks ahead of schedule in the Test - even though he won't be able to back up for them in next Sunday's match against Manly at Leichhardt Oval.


Page 1 of the Weekend Herald kicks off with a story about car parks....but it does feature an interesting quote from Invercargill's mayor Tim Shadbolt who says the $78,000 somone paid for a car park in A-Town "is just outrageous".
"It just goes to show the problem New Zealand is facing in terms of its population imbalance. If we [in Invercargill] get more than three cars at the lights, it's called a crisis here."

Page 3 of the same paper has an article about Shadbolt being "charged with careless use of a motor vehicle and will appear in the Invercargill Traffic Court at a date to be set".

Perahps no few enough cars ey Tim?

Seems you can't even have a minor fender-bender these days without being charged with careless driving.

Different if you're in the police and pack rape women though - then the police deliberately cover it up for 24 years...until it gets exposed on TV.

Auckland University is organising a march in support of rape complainant Louise Nicholas tomorrow.
New Zealand has some of the most stringent suppression laws in the common law world. There is a perception that suppression orders are being used to protect the rich, famous or powerful while others must battle for name suppression. Rape complainants must have enough confidence in the justice system to come forward.

Even though Nicholas's alleged attackers were found not guilty it does appear her stand has encouraged other women to come forward and expose the truly sick police culture that existed in Rotorua/Bay of plenty in the 1980s:
A former police officer extradited from Australia on historic rape and sexual abuse charges was today sent for trial in the High Court. The man, whose name is suppressed, faces allegations from two girls, then aged between 12 and 16, comprising four counts of indecent assault and one of rape, all in Rotorua in 1980.

And finally made the police take allegations against their own seriously.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Some Old Judge Calls Stoners Stupid 

Stuff reports that Timothy Andrew Murphy appeared in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday, after he was busted selling raffle tickets (at $10 each) for "an ounce of sticky marijuana heads" at his work on April 7. In sentencing said moron to 140 hours community service, Judge Louis Bidois took the opportunity to philosphize a little: "It just proves the stupidity of those who take drugs."

Oh you tiresome woman, it "proves" nothing of the sort. At most, this case shows that Timothy Andrew Murphy - while an entrepreneurial spirit - didn't forsee one or more of his colleagues calling the Police. At best he put too much faith in his colleagues, at worst he is indeed a moron.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders prepare for a Friday evening spliff (and millions more prepare for a drink or seven), none of them planning on openly auctioning off illegal substances in their workplaces.

And when the carnage from tonight's drinking is over, I eagerly await the learned judge's ponitification on "the stupidity of those who touch alcohol."

In other news, I always knew the Karangahake Gorge was a fucking deathtrap:

Another one bites the dust 

Hard-nosed NBR reporter Jock Anderson has been given the flick over the phone by the National Business Review.
Former National Business Review journalist Jock Anderson is crusading against his former workplace via the internet after he was told by telephone that he had been made redundant.
Mr Anderson, who also wrote a weekly law column called Case Load for NBR, said he was told of his redundancy by phone and asked to clear out his desk before 8am or after 5pm the next day.

Don't worry Jock I'm sure market forces will come to your rescue...don't they always?

Seriously though, it's not the first time the NBR has employed such a callous method of disposing of long-term staff.

I know of one person who left the NBR in disgust after seeing colleagues summarily fired in front of an office full of staff.

You've got to ask questions about managment when they feel the need to consistently behave in such a vicious manner -- can't do much for office i next?

Or maybe you don't need to ask questions; perhaps you can just call them fuckwits.

I haven't found Jock's website yet but when I do I'll link to it - should be good for a little shit-stirring.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lifestyles of the Idle Rich 

They allow $1700 to accumulate in drawers, then take the time to photograph said small fortune, and then blog about it. Nice for some :) I still pick up 5c pieces with a view to buying coffee. "Wow, only 59 more of these and I've got a flat white..."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tax Reform, now 

Over the weekend and Anzac Day I had the chance to reflect on some possible principles for tax reform in New Zealand. They're not costed, but something needs to be done about the standard of living for people on low-to-middle incomes in this country, so here goes.

Frankly, it is ridiculous that income spent on one's health and/or education are both subject to GST and counted as taxable income. At least one of these issues needs to be addressed. The most beneficial would be the Canadian system, where all educational and medical expenses (over a certain low minimum level) are deducted from one's taxable income. No student earning $15,000 - and giving $8,000 of it to a University - should have that $8,000 taxed. The same goes for those with poor health. Perhaps these expenses could be treated in the same way as school fees - i.e., as donations.

As referred to above. GST unnecessarily inflates the cost of already expensive social goods. Most of the countries with which we'd compare ourselves offer GST exemptions on certain things ... we shouldn't sacrifice people's incomes to the god of simplicity. If Australia, Britain, Canada, various US States can manage a system of exemptions, so can we. Of course there's room for debate about social goods, but let's start with doctor's visits, prescription medicines, school and university books, and work from there.

If a couple's income is counted as shared for the purposes of determing one individual's (in)eligibility for a state benefit, it should be counted together for the purposes of determining the couple's tax burden. Simple as that. Whether they have children or are married should be irrelevant ... take note Peter Dunne.

Labour, give everyone a tax break while helping your supporters the most: make the first, say, $5000 of income tax free.

A tax is neither a good nor a service, and thus should not be subject to GST. The relevant policy should be rewritten to specify that GST only applies to the price of a good or service prior to other levies being added (think petrol and alcohol here), and cannot apply to local body rates.

Auckland. A great place to live if... 

You earn lots of money and can afford to live in park-like surrounds in a well-serviced inner suburb.


Auckland. A fairly shit place to live if you're low-to-middle income. Actually, I think this is true of New Zealand in general, and I'd still rather be in Auckland than any other part of the country. So that's a little unfair.

I have some tax proposals to help address this situation. I haven't costed them, but like 'em in principle.

More to follow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006



I think "ambience" equates to wankery.

Seriously, is the 'award' to Auckland City? I thought it was to Auckland? I mean what's the fucken difference? It's the same bloody place with 7 different egos.

Who's got a problem ? 

This kind of grates me a bit. This is Wan Biao's father who has come to NZ following the senseless killing of his son:
"New Zealand is hailed as a paradise in China. How do young innocent students become victims?" he asked through a translator.
Well, there isn't a hell of a lot that the NZ authorities can do to stop Chinese people kidnapping each other is there? Well short of catching them. And by all accounts there has been a massive drop off in reported cases in the last year or so. Kidnapping seems to be an accepted crime in China. I mean what percentage of the population are they and how many instances of it have there been in the last 5 or so years. If the entire population was getting in on the act we would probably make Rio de Janeiro look like Geneva.
Lawyer Raymond Huo, of Brookfields, said the family wanted to know why Wan Biao, a diligent student who had come to New Zealand to study for his future, was murdered.

Mr Huo said they wanted to discuss regulations and controls surrounding language schools.

The family were struggling to understand how students were able to become involved in crime, and wanted to know if there was a better way to monitor their activities.
What like microchipping them? "how are students able to become involved in crime?" umm... greed would be a pretty good bet.

From the Times online: (note the bolding, italicising and question marks are by moi
Killing rocks Asian??? communities
AS news broke of an Asian??? student’s body being found in a floating suitcase, a frenzy of callers hit Chinese talkback radio here and overseas.

Wan Biao’s fate has shocked the community.

With the toss of a suitcase, an unwanted spotlight shone on the Asian??? community during what should have been a quiet Easter weekend.

The body’s dumping in the Waitemata Harbour on Good Friday created a ripple of responses to Pakuranga’s Chinese Radio station.

Managing director Eric Liu says the gruesome crime suggests Asian??? students may need more support while in New Zealand.

“We feel the whole orientation and care system is not sufficient, that’s the network from school to the student and community. They’re missing a lot of links there.”

He says Asians??? were shocked by the discovery and keen to see justice served.

Counties Manukau police Asian??? liaison officer Justin Zeng says the murder received widespread media coverage on Chinese radio and television. “This murder has had far more effect on the Asian??? community than other ones, because this is a student who has been in the country for a few months.”

He fears it has the potential to affect the flow of Asian??? students to New Zealand.

Mr Zeng, who isn’t involved in the Auckland police inquiry, says it’s a reminder how crime and police are viewed in Asian??? communities. The police approach needs to assume cultural understanding, particularly with new immigrants, he says.

“For those who have only been in the country a while, they probably still portray New Zealand police officers as their own – corrupt and cruel,” says Mr Zeng. “So they’re probably more reluctant to report, or have anything to do with the cops.”

He says it’s more important to educate immigrants about the differences in New Zealand law enforcement.

“We have to educate new immigrants New Zealand police are different. We have a very transparent system to supervise our officers.”

He says the overseas illusion this country is completely safe is a myth which should also be dispelled.

“That illusion goes very quickly when [immigrants] arrive. In terms of police and the whole country, we’ve got to advise new immigrants that yes New Zealand is safe, but there is crime,” says Mr Zeng.

Mr Liu says the lack of reporting of crime by Asian??? victims was discussed on talkback during the investigation. However, he doubts it will remind communities to report crime.

“Because this is a major crime, a murder case. There are many times we encounter that with burglaries and small crimes, [police] response time is too long.”

Mr Zeng hopes to counter the perception by outlining police procedure to Asian??? residents. He says many newcomers are unaware of police event priorities, which determine response times.

Police say 19-year-old Wan Biao was killed at an inner city hotel, before his body was folded into a suitcase and dumped from Princes Wharf into Waitemata Harbour. The bag was spotted and held by boaties for police collection a few hundred metres east of the Harbour Bridge on Good Friday morning.

Two 21-year-old males appeared at the Auckland District Court yesterday, one facing a murder charge, the other being an accessory.
Kind of funny asking for more support for Asians coming here. If you spin it round the other way how much support do the Chinese offer to English speakers? I'll shamelessly contradict one of my points here by pointing out that in Korea as a foreeigner if you wanted support you were generally out of luck and we generally had to band together. At least Chinese coming to NZ can find tens of thousands of fellow Chinese, Chinese supermarkets, Chinese restaurants and various other Chinese services.

It seems we are being blamed for immigrant assumptions that our cops are corrupt and useless, which as has been highlighted with the swift capture of the suspects is not exactly the case is it? Well at least when murder is involved. The odd bit of gang banging (so long as the uniform has been discarded... on the floor) is OK.

Note to immigration. Put a huge sign up at the airport as you come through customs saying "We catch Chinese kidnappers with ease".

Oh and ditch the "Asian" headings. It's a Chinese thing.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Handle the jandal 

Poor Sione.

The cast and crew of Sione's Wedding are outraged by the pirated DVD version of their movie which has been seen (according to them) by half of South Auckland.
The cast of hit new Kiwi comedy Sione's Wedding are gutted that half of south Auckland has already seen a pirated DVD made from a stolen copy of the film.

Anyone else see irony in a bunch of actors making a living off humorous Samoan-stereotypes and then spitting the dummy when South Aucklanders behave the exact way they portray them?

Cheeky, cheap, and bending the rules.

In fact it's so bad Producer John Barnett told the media that a "sequel to Sione's Wedding was now in doubt".
"What's the point if people rip it off? A lot of people say `it's not a crime, I just watched it'. But they're all complicit."

Schucks, according to the box office you guys are had the top grossing opening weekend of any Kiwi movie ever.

It even says that on your own website -- just click on 'about the film'.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

drunk can'tr harly type 

nrl wheres it at

we have two teams on friday night who we aLL EXPECT A BIG GAME FROM WITH GOOD FOOTBALL, AND THEY DELIVER AND THEY ARE twelth and thirteenth on the table respectively.

imagine expecting the same from the likes of the cheetahs v the sharks muhhahaha.

Also we get second arse fucking third by 50 points. It's tha t kind of unpredicatbuility which will see the NRL building a monumental fan baese which seeas it murdering all other Aussie sports in the next decade sio long as they manage it right I'm drunk merci bocu baby

I love your mum

Friday, April 21, 2006

Satire is alive and well 

The Onion meets The Timaru Herald

The e-mail championing a boycott of Mobil is nothing but a hoax says company at heart of boycott.
OK, hands up all those who have forwarded an email calling for a ban on buying petrol from Mobil? The email was ripping through cyberspace at such a rate yesterday that company IT and system manager-types were sending out their own "don't send" instructions.
And it all turned out to be a con. The email sounded plausible – if we all boycott Mobil the company would eventually have to reduce its fuel prices. Other companies would do the same to keep their share of the market. The motorist would be smiling all the way to the pumps. Not so, according to Mobil's media man. In fact news of the email was greeted with a groan, and the "not again" sentiment. Yes, he knew of the email, and no, it isn't new, it's just spam, an electronic chain letter.

So it turns out the e-mail calling for a boycott of Mobil is a con, says Mobil's media manager.

It's nothing more than "spam," an "electronic chain letter," if you will.

Fuck, who would have thought?

It turns out, according to the Timaru Herald, that if everone stops buying off one company -- Mobil -- then "the smaller ones would still have to buy from them, and the motorist would probably have to pay even more for fuel as it would be available at fewer service stations".

So, Mobil would pack up shop and close down its service stations rather than try and become more competitive, and reverse the temporary consumer boycott aimed at lowering prices at the pump?

I don't think so Tim.

How does that song go?
Believin all the lies that they're telling ya, buying all the products that they're sellin ya

Now, I ain't no oil analyst but surely if there are four petrol companies and all of a sudden one of them starts making fuck all money it's going to have to do something to attract consumers, no?

And even if it did nothing at least we'd piss off Mobil's media manager and maybe slightly reduce this quarter's record profits Mobil will no doubt shortly be announcing -- it's more than an electronic chain letter now BIATCH.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Media wrap up 

Mainstream Media:

1) Can't link to this unfortunately but the funniest thing I've read in a while was the New Zealand Herald referring to Nick Keesing recently as a political activist.

Quiz: How does the Collins dictionary define political activist?

A) A person who works energetically to achieve political or social goals.

B) A 40-something-year-old who has done nothing but hang out in the Auckland Univeristy Quad for the past 20 years -- except for those occassions when banned for selling pot.

2) After last week's Sunday Star Times front-page featuring the sad tea party monkey a PDF was sent from Herald on Sunday to SST featuring three monkeys and the caption: Hear no news, See no news, Write no news.


3) Prime Minister Helen Clark is "bemused" by the status of the Indian high commissioner who has fallen out with his government back home.
The Government has not been officially told that India's High Commissioner Harish Kumar Dogra no longer holds his position, Prime Minister Helen Clark said yesterday. Mr Dogra is refusing orders to surrender his post, although he is reported to have gone on extended leave as controversy surrounds his status.....Helen Clark said at her post-Cabinet press conference yesterday the situation was "most unusual - I can't recall anything like it". She said the Government had not sought clarification of the situation. "It is up to them [the Indian Government] to say who its high commissioner is," she said.

It's most unusual huh?

Can't recall anything like it?

I reckon it's about as unusual as having a Minister running portfolios like Foreign Affairs and Racing, yet who is absolutely and clearly not a part of Cabinet?

4) Cuddly animal story of the week.

5) Anyone familiar with Henderson will be looking foward to the "opportunity" to get involved in water sports down at Tui Glen.

Apparently the Waitakere Council will/has removed decades of supermarket trolleys from the waterways and also removed Tui Glen's dishevelled residents.
The section of cycleway through the reserve is finished and the old council depot in the south-west corner of the reserve has been cleaned up and a lease for this area has been granted to the Motor Caravan Association for the short-term stays of members. The camp kitchen has been demolished, the toilet block upgraded and the toilets are now open to the public.

Around the blogs

1) Kiwi-blog and red-neck mates talk shit about those poor Israeli's and how New Zealand should stop its state-sponsorship of terrorist Palestinians who had the audacity to elect the leaders they wanted.

2) Frog Blog has a interesting post on the Special Raptor's report on indigenous issues in New Zealand.

I'm surprised this report hasn't been covered more in the MSM, perhaps this is because it's actually fucking boring .

I have to go with the Government on this one, as Michael got any gum Cullen told the nation, "the final report of the UN Special Raptor for indigenous issues is disappointing, unbalanced and narrow".
"It's hardly surprising that [the Raptor] has come to selective conclusions when he only spent about eight working days consulting in the country all up."
"As a result the Raptor has failed to grasp the importance of the special mechanisms we have in place to deal with Maori grievances and the progress successive governments have made," said Cullen.

Really, what the fuck did they expect?

3) Russell Brown starts his blog by pointing readers in the direction of a funny kiwi satirical news site and then ruins the week by pre-announcing his next post will be on telecommunications...arghhhh.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Well it's fucking well lost me for good after tonights episode and probably a fair few others as well.

A miserable 36 minutes long (I was taping it for my wife who is out) and it was all recaps of stuff that has already been recapped or else it happened last fucking week.

And then the shorts for next week show it to be a pile of soppy crap with no real plot development. The producer/director/writer are milking this beyond belief. So fuck it I'll read a book on future Wednesday nights.

The Sopranos has had season 6 kick off in the States and I've managed to download and watch the first two episodes. I own the first 5 seasons on dvd and each episode is in the 48 to 55 minute range as opposed to Lost where you get 7-8 minutes of recaps then 4-5 minutes of ads. I think they have just had episode 4 of the Sopranos screen last weekend so I'll have to get hold of the latest two. I won't spoil any of it though.

And I just love the limits on how much I can download a month. It's soooooooo 2006....... BC.

Shooting the puck 

Bloggingitreal continues to bring home the vege-bacon reporting on sports other than rugbyfuckingunion. Last night I attended a match featuring those two powerhouses of international (ice) hockey, New Zealand and Australia.

It was a sellout crowd at the Botany Downs stadium, where over 500 paid $18 for the privilege of sitting on the wooden bleachers. Man, they test the buttocks and back in pretty short order ... no better than those fucking concrete terraces at Eden Park. On the other hand, the view was excellent: 5th row back next to the goal New Zealand defended for two periods ... those seats would cost a fortune elsewhere. Except there weren't really any "seats" and there were only 6 rows. As Ms_Red observed, it was a bit like watching hockey in 100 Mile House, BC.

Anyway, I degress. The game was proceeded by a rousing haka ... not bad for guys on skates!

Australia was, from the outset, clearly the better team. They won the first face off and quickly set up camp behind the New Zealand blue line, taking - I would estimate - 10 shots on goal in the first 90 seconds. At this point it quickly became clear that New Zealand had one class player, and luckily for them he was their goalie, Gareth Livingstone.

The first period was frequently farcical, with the mighty Ice Blacks (does every NZ team name have to be some play on Black/Silver?) completely unable to clear the puck for long periods of time, offering Australia countless opportunities to rain shots in on goal from close quarters. When, by some accident, the puck did land on the stick of an Ice Black, a hilarious giveaway usually followed. But, thanks to the lightning reflexes and great anticipation of Livingstone, nothing got through until about the 16th minute.

New Zealand gradually began to warm to the task, and by the second period were even managing to string a few offensive passes together. The scoreline gradually mounted in Australia's favour, but New Zealand also scored after a breakaway mid-way through the second period, in what must have been one of their first 4-5 shots on goal, briefly reducing the difference to one.

The final period was pretty open, with Australia dominating, but New Zealand scoring a good second goal (cause for much celebrating). All in all, Australia deserved the 6-2 victory, but it could easily have been 20-2 without our goalie. Hence his well-deserved MVP award.

Indeed, I'd guess he saved well in excess of 60 shots, meaning his save percentage stayed over 90%. The Ausssie goalie, by comparison, let in about 2 off 15 or so.

It's not too often your team loses 6-2, and your goalie still has a better save percentage than his opponent.

And hey, when I'm using broadband at home and someone picks up the land line phone, the whole fucking thing falls over. What's with that?

Monday, April 03, 2006


"Zero," Sione Faumuina proudly shouted at the end of yesterday's match against Newcastle.

Well buddy, that pass you threw when trapped in your own in-goal could've meant we were still on -2.

Here's what the NZ Herald had to say about THAT PASS:
Undoubtedly they took confidence from his [Johns] exit but they also produced confident plays themselves, none more so than when Sione Faumuina threw a loose pass in his own in-goal with three minutes remaining. Trapped by three tacklers, Faumuina chucked the ball out the back where Todd Byrne scooped it from the ground and got it back in to the field of play.

Still no harm done ey - nice judgement Sione!

Apparently a whole heap of Newcastle fans were trying to cancel their bets on the game after it was announced Andrew Johns was out of the match - not sure if they managed to though - haha suckers.

Speaking of suckers, I wonder how this guy is feeling?
$20,000 @ $1.85 ON NEWCASTLE (-15.5) V NZ WARRIORS

Next Sunday the Warriors have a chance to get off their two-win goose-egg when they play the Sea-Eagles at Ericcson.

The Sea-Eagles have won their last two games on the trot beating the Sharks and Roosters but they haven't had to win in front of a crowd of brown-faces yet ey Mick.

One little gripe about the NRL this year though is the absolutely shit new NRL website.

Not only is the site hard to navigate your way around but this season's NRL tipping competition is crap - most people I know have already pulled out.

Not only do you have to pay $30 for the privilege of being able to watch how your mates went over the weekend, errr that's the whole point, they also removed the 12-and-under 13+ margins for all their games which takes the skill out of tipping.

This season in the tipping comp you pick head-to-head six of the seven and in the seventh game you can try and guess the exact score...GAY.

I can't even find a fucking competition table anywhere on their site - come on.

In other news check out the extent of the damage done to the car PM Helen Clark's ministerial motorcade ploughed into.

The injuries sustained by the driver have required 11 chiropractic sessions.

Of windblown waiting areas and shit sidewalks 

Time for a brief, first-hand account of catching the train in Auckland for the first time in many years. My origin was Henderson, and my destination Britomart.

In a couple of senses the service was good: the train turned up on time (almost to the minute I'd say) and provided a comfortable, smooth ride into town.

In another sense, there's a fuckload still to be done. The idea of a "train station" is clearly lost once you move beyond the bowels of Britomart: the waiting area at Henderson (hardly a backwater) was no more than an uneven, patchy concrete platform with a woebegone wooden "shelter" at one end under which maybe 7-8 people could huddle, with a roof of sorts, but no walls to protect one from the wind and rain. For $4.20 per one way voyage, plus ARC rates, plus petrol taxes, etc. , ARTA and its subcontractors could, err, build and maintain a station? The rest of the journey confirmed that this is the norm. What utter crap, especially in a city where rain and wind aren't unheard of (although even in somewhere like Phoenix this should be unacceptable).

For the record, here's what the Skytrain stations in Vancouver look like. The skytrain has problems, but a complete fucking absence of minimally-acceptable waiting & embarkation areas isn't one of them.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

dc_red's dream team revisited 

I've had a realization about the Black Caps' crowded middle order, plus the need to find places for as many class acts as possible. Too bad, Braces, this means your experimental guys have no place in the team!

The key to the problem with the middle order is Fleming (avg. 39.2), whose placement means either Styris (avg. 40.0) or Jacob Oram (avg. 43.6) has to be omitted. But what if you could play both of these guys, plus Fleming and Astle (avg. 38.6), and still find room for guys with form: namely Sinclair and Vincent.

The good news is that we can(!!) by shifting Fleming back to opener (and if he doesn't like it he can lump it):

1. S. Fleming
2. L. Vincent
3. M. Sinclair
4. S. Styris
5. N. Astle
6. J. Oram [cover for top 6: H. Marshall]
7. B. McCullum
8. D. Vettori
9. J. Franklin
10. S. Bond
11. C. Martin

Now there is a team that could kick some South African ass! Oh yeah!

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