Sport Box

Archive - March 2014

Israel Dagg “I might be on sleeping pills right now”

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All Blacks and Crusader’s fullback Israel Dagg has conceded this week that it may be impossible to tell whether or not he is still on sleeping pills and alcohol, following his infamous forgotten night with Cory Jane during the 2011 World Cup.

“Given I can’t remember what happened that night, there’s every chance that I might be on sleeping pills right now and not realise it,” the 38 cap All Black said today. “You could try asking me tomorrow, but I might have popped some sleeping pills and had a glass of wine before you get to me, I just don’t know anymore.”

Dagg went on to speculate that, “It’s a bit like being in the Matrix isn’t it. You always wonder if when you wake up from the Matrix whether you’re simply not in another Matrix.”

When asked about his All Black teammate’s admission, Hurricane’s winger Cory Jane was equally as disturbed by the prospect of still being under the influence. “That’s deep man. I’m pretty sure I’m not on sleeping pills anymore, am I?” Jane said. “I mean, I know that Hammer hasn’t picked me for a while despite my being fit, but I can’t remember the last time I played… was I using the pills then?”

When SportBox.co.nz approached other Super Rugby franchises for comment, only the Auckland Blues replied, with coach Sir John Kirwan admitting that “The Blues may as well be on pills given the crap they’ve produced on the field and my being asleep at the wheel this season.”

Hammett admits “I have no idea what I’m doing”

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Under fire Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett today conceded that he has “no idea what I’m doing” and that he instead relied on senior players such as Conrad Smith and Cory Jane to run the team while he and Alama Ieremia drew “dirty pictures on the team whiteboard.”

The shock revelation comes on the back of the Hurricanes failing to win their first three games this season, taking their total losing streak since 2013 to eight matches. While some rugby journalists, such as Fairfax’s Toby Robson, have tried to stifle criticism of Hammett’s performance by labeling it as “hysteria”, the former-Cantabrian said that the criticism was probably justified.

“Look, when I got this job I basically just told the Hurricanes Board that the Crusaders had done well w

While I was their assistant coach, so that meant that I was clearly their secret weapon, because we all know how bad Robbie Deans was with the All Blacks and then with the Wallabies,” Hammett said in his exclusive interview with SportBox.co.nz. “What I neglected to mention to my new managers is that I actually just minded everyone’s kids in the club rooms during team practice. The Crusaders didn’t have budget for a full time nanny, so Robbie signed me on under the guise of an assistant coach so that we didn’t have to worry about babysitters anymore.

“Of course, given the way the Hurricanes were back when I took charge in 2011, they were pretty much a pack of babies anyway. Especially Piri, Ma’a and Andrew. As soon as I took their McDonald’s and beer away they threw little temper tantrums and left.”

Hammett went on to admit that, “Even though I have no idea what I’m doing, I thought if I managed to bumble my way through a couple of seasons things would sort themselves out, especially when Alama Ieremia signed up as my assistant, however he’s just as bad as I am. So we both agreed we’d let the senior players run the side while we drew  penises and other dirty pictures on the team whiteboard for the lads to laugh at when they got back in the sheds.

“That was a perfect plan when we actually had some senior players,” Hammett went on to say, “except as they all realised how bad things had got we were left with only Cory and Conrad, so as well as holding up the team’s on-field performance they’re also trying to coach and manage the squad too. They’re doing a fucking amazing job all things considered.”

Despite his boss’s admissions, Hurricane’s assistant coach Alama Ieremia this morning was trying to play down the notion that he and Hammett weren’t equipped to coach at this level.

“Nah mate, the game plan was fine. We all know kicking the ball away at every opportunity is the best way to win games. Who needs to actually hold the rugby ball to score points anyway? Besides, if our players didn’t lack basic skills and drop the ball all the time we could kick it away even more,” Ieremia said.

When asked whether he felt ensuring his players actually practiced basic handling skills was part of the coaching role, especially the assistant coach, Ieremia responded by telling us to “fuck off” and hung up the phone.

Former Hurricanes and Wellington hero Tana Umaga, who has been widely touted as a possible successor to Mark Hammett has played down speculation that he’s interested in the role saying, “I’d prefer to see a much wider public outcry from Hurricanes’ fans against Mark Hammett than a handful of blogs and Twitter comments before I step in and save the day.”

Batsmen to get option to end careers before facing Mitchell Johnson

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In a tacit acknowledgement of his ability to terrify batsmen into early international retirement with his aggressive bowling, the ICC has announced that those facing the prospect of being on the receiving end of a Mitchell Johnson delivery will now be given the option by the umpire to end their international career on the spot before Johnson bowls at them.

The decision comes on the back of South African Captain Graeme Smith announcing his international retirement after facing a barrage of body shattering deliveries from the West Australian paceman where he acknowledged that he’d prefer to not play cricket again “rather than face that lethal bastard again.”

The International Cricket Council made the decision in light of the psychological impact Mitchell Johnson was having on opponents over this summer, including breaking the body of former CNN broadcaster and inventor of phone hacking Piers Morgan.

“We took a look at what was happening and we simply didn’t think it was fair that Mitchell Johnson be allowed to continually ruin the reputations of otherwise quality players,” David Richardson, CEO of the ICC said. “As a result, any player who is about to face a delivery from Mitchell Johnson can now indicate to the on-field umpires that he would like to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect by placing his bat on the ground across the crease. The player can then leave the field of play without any further alteration or penalty to their batting statistics on CricInfo.”

The new instant retirement law will come into play at the conclusion of the current test series between South Africa and Australia.

The ICC also clarified that the new Mitchell Law, as it’s already becoming known, won’t apply to India, who instead have had the ICC rule that Mitchell Johnson is banned from playing in any match against India or a team featuring Indian players.

“It is clearly against the reverent like manner in which we expect all teams to conduct themselves towards India to allow a player as talented and driven as Johnson to expose the inability of our Indian heroes to play against outright pace,” said N Srinivasan, President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Russia seizes Waikato to bolster Sevens team for Rio

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Waikato residents have woken this morning to discover Russian armoured personnel carriers and camouflaged soldiers patrolling the streets of their towns and cities. In a highly clinical operation, Russian forces conducted landings and paradrops throughout the region overnight in order to seize control of the region’s rugby riches and harness them to improve their chances to win gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“Hello Zealand,” Russian President Vladimir Putin broadcast to the Waikato at 7am this morning, “Welcome to Russia. We have expressed great gratitude that you volunteer to join the glorious Russian Federation so we can win gold Sevens Rugby together at Rio Olympics.”

While most New Zealanders elsewhere in the country were at first skeptical that anywhere called Waikato actually existed, after having it pointed out to them as “that place you use the State Highway 1 Bypass to try and avoid” and “it’s where the milk comes from”, they now acknowledge that Russia’s seizure of the Waikato might be of some cause for concern when it comes to the nation’s rugby fortunes.

“Aw, it’s a bit stink eh? said Taupo resident Ben Saunders on the edge of the Russian occupied zone. “That whole Chiefs rugby team were doing alright weren’t they? Won a few games, smelled a lot like someone had been using too much Rexona, but yeah, stink one. Don’t know what we’ll do without them.”

The New Zealand Rugby Union and Government were seen entering into crisis talks shortly after news of the occupation emerged. However Prime Minister John Key was quick to dismiss rumours of a Gordon Tietjens for Waikato swap, “Look, I think the majority of Kiwis wouldn’t support that course of action. Clearly, Titch is something of a national treasure and Aucklanders aren’t necessarily that bothered with having a buffer zone filled with angry Russians to separate them from the rest of the country.”

“And let’s be honest, the feeling is probably mutual,” Mr Key added.

While it’s not yet clear if the Russians will release any specialist 15-a-side rugby players from the Waikato, All Black’s coach Steve Hansen seemed optimistic regardless.

“Most of those Chiefs players are replacable,” Hansen said. “The only one I’d really want to be released by the Russians is Aaron Cruden and that’s only because nobody is sure where Stephen Donald has gotten to.”