Sport Box

Archive - November 2014

Kangaroos barred from re-entering into Australia

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In the wake of their 22 – 18 loss to the Kiwis in the Four Nations final, Australian national rugby league team the Kangaroos have been barred from returning to Australia as the country struggles to come to terms with the disappointing result.

The move by the Australian Government to cancel the passports of the entire Kangaroos squad comes on the back of the controversial decision to allow the Australian cricket team back in the country following their whitewash series loss to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates recently.

Speaking from the G20 summit in Brisbane yesterday, Tony Abbott conceded that they had made the call to cancel the passports to avoid the Kangaroos suffering the kind of public backlash that the Australian cricket team have faced in recent days. “Look, at the end of the day we made a mistake by letting Michael Clarke and the cricket team back in the country after they were completely un-Australian and capitulated without firing a shot against Pakistan,” said Prime Minister Abbott. “As a result, we knew that if we made the same mistake again by letting another highly favourited, but ultimately unsuccessful sporting team back in the country, the impact could see us lower our standards for all other national sporting codes.”

Abbott went on to elaborate that, “We need to send a clear message to our athletes that failure is simply not acceptable when wearing our national colours. We’ve already lowered our standards by continually letting the Wallabies back into the country, despite them having no achieved anything worth while since 1999, and we’re determined not to let the rot of sporting incompetence spread any further.”

For their part, the Kangaroos seem resigned to their fate, with several players still having to be transported around the airport on stretchers while in the foetal position, having not recovered from the shock of being beaten by the Kiwis twice in one year.

Australian league players fake stomach virus to avoid playing Kiwis

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Up to five Kangaroo players have been revealed to be faking a stomach virus in order to avoid playing against the Kiwis in this weekend’s Four Nations final in Wellington following their humiliating 30 to 12 defeat when the two teams met earlier in the tournament.

The Kangaroos, who cancelled a training session in Wellington this afternoon due to too few players turning up out of fear of the Kiwis, conceded that this had been an issue for them throughout the tournament.

“Obviously Greg Inglis couldn’t return to the field after halftime during the Brisbane game because he was fair shitting himself over having to face another 40 minute onslaught from the Kiwis, and Tim Sheens came down with the same fake illness following that loss as he sought to avoid the media,” a Kangaroos spokesperson said.

“It’s pretty understandable that the guys don’t really want to be part of a Kangaroos side that’s poised to lose yet another title to the Kiwis,” Kangaroos back-rower Greg Bird said. “I mean, losing that World Cup final a few years back was a pretty low point for the team, and the loss in Brisbane brought up a lot of suppressed memories for the boys.”

The Kangaroos, who won’t name their side until Thursday night, are scrambling to be able to field at team for Saturday night’s Four Nations final as other players have withdrawn themselves from selection citing unverified injuries, or that they’re feeling a “little tired after a long NRL season.”

On hearing the news the Kiwis camp were relaxed, pointing out that, “Look, it doesn’t matter who the Kangaroos send out on Saturday night. The reality is that we’ve spent all this tournament building up everyone’s expectations, we’re pretty much guaranteed to choke anyway.”

$5000, one-handed crowd catch earns spectator Blackcaps call up

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Shortly after setting the internet alight with a spectacular one-handed, sliding catch at the recent Otago Volts vs Wellington Firebirds Georgie Pie Super Smash match, spectator Andrew McCulloch has been handed a Blackcaps contract and called into the squad for the second test in the United Arab Emirates against Pakistan as the team tries to address their general inability to play cricket.

“The move just makes sense,” said Blackcaps’ coach Mike Hesson from Dubai this morning. “The kid clearly has more talent and a better skill set than the entire New Zealand cricket team put together, so we basically had to sign him before Ireland did.”

Blackcaps’ skipper Brendon McCullum was equally as enthusiastic about the signing, “Yeah, we try and motivate our guys to play decently by paying them $5000 a day and look what we get? That this kid, who wasn’t being paid at all, could achieve what our team – with all its coaches, practice sessions and supposed talent – couldn’t manage, must mean he’s pretty special.

For his part, McCulloch hasn’t been overwhelmed by his meteoric rise to stardom. “All I was trying to do was impress my girlfriend,” he said in an exclusive interview, “so I just reacted and made the catch. I guess it’s just the basic kind of skills you’d think most cricketers would possess, but Hesson assured me that it wasn’t, so I took up the offer.

“Admittedly, given the way the rest of the Blackcaps are playing, I’m just hoping that I don’t get dragged down to their poor standards, as the girlfriend won’t be quite as impressed then,” added McCulloch.

 

Country returns to no longer caring about harness racing after NZ Trotting Cup

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Following the New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington Raceway yesterday, Kiwis are relieved that they can return to no longer paying attention to harness racing after being forced to feign interest for little more than 24 hours.

“It’s a huge relief,” said Addington race-goer Charlotte Bell, “I had completely forgotten that harness racing even still existed until yesterday, and now I can return to not caring about it for another 364 days. It’s not like I’d even heard of the horses before, Adore Me? Terror To Love? They all look the same.”

It was a common theme across the track throughout the day as punters revealed that they had no idea how to read form guides, instead preferring to pick their runners off witty sounding names or cryptic tipster comments in the race guide.

“I pick all the horses whose names are jokes about how terrible the horse’s chances are,” said John Green as he queued for a spot behind a bush to relieve himself. “It’s clearly a clever ploy by the owner to trick people into not backing their horse, so I’m sure to make a bloody fortune off my $1 each way bets!”

Even TVNZ’s George Berry who provided live crosses from the track conceded that he wasn’t really there to cover the race, “Yeah, we basically turn up each year to get the obligatory shots of young, attractive, drunk Cantabrians making idiots of themselves, a few obscenely stupid headpieces from fashion in the field, and a clip of an over-excited horse owner celebrating. Our producer in Auckland had to remind us there was an actual harness race on that we needed to watch, it was quite disconcerting having to pretend to know something about the sport when virtually nobody cares about it,” said Berry.

For their part, the TAB conceded that sending staff to the New Zealand Trotting Cup was akin to time travel for the organisation. “Oh absolutely, it’s like going back to nineteenth century Ireland, as no where else in the world cares this much about harness racing anymore,” said a TAB spokesperson. “We’re still waiting for locals to free up the party line into Christchurch so we can find out just how much money our tote operators fleeced from them.”

Nigel Owens: “I did everything I could to help England”

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Welsh referee Nigel Owens conceded last night that despite doing everything he could to help England win their critical encounter with the All Blacks on Saturday afternoon UK time, the All Blacks have proved the better team on the day.

“I tried everything I could to keep the English in the game,” a flustered Owens admitted at a bar in Cardiff yesterday evening, “I did everything I could to help England but they just weren’t able to capitalise on the advantages I gave them.

“I mean, I sent Dane Coles off when he clearly didn’t deserve, and when the TMO had told me it didn’t warrant a card, just to give the English a numerical advantage, then I decided to disallow a try I’d already awarded and hadn’t asked for a TMO ruling on, purely because the crowd asked me to. Hell, I even refused to dish out an equivalent yellow card to a English defender and awarded them an unjustified penalty try in order to keep them in the game and they still couldn’t beat the All Blacks.”

Owens, whose refereeing performance has come under intense scrutiny following the result, was unrepentant about his clear bias. “Look, someone other than the Springboks at home has to be able to beat these All Blacks, and I was just doing my part to try and make that a reality,” Owens said.

“Wayne Barnes led the way with showing the world how to referee a game in order to clearly disadvantage the All Blacks, and I was just following on from his inspired example. It’s just simply not fair that the All Blacks have so much talent right across the park, so it’s our job, as referees from the home unions, to ensure that our sides can play on a level pegging against those colonial upstarts, regardless of what the words of the rule book say,” Owens added.

When asked whether he planned to frame the signed England jersey given to him by captain Chris Robshaw before the game, in anticipation of the win, Owens declined to comment.

England to reply to haka with politely written letter

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The English rugby team have announced that they will be replying to the challenge laid down by the All Blacks haka at Twickenham this weekend with a politely written letter.

The English Rugby Union, which has always been critical of the All Blacks use of the haka as a pre-game ritual, picked up on the suggestion that teams should have a right of reply to the haka and decided that handing over a letter would be a very “English thing to do.”

“Teams have tried many responses to the haka over the years,” said England coach Stuart Lancaster, “ranging from the French walking up to the All Blacks as they perform it, the Welsh forcing the All Blacks to perform it in their changing rooms, and the Australians who simply forget how to play rugby when they see it.

“We’ve been searching for something that would appropriately reflect our English cultural values, and ultimately we decided that having our caption, Chris Robshaw, deliver their captain, Richie McCaw, a politely written letter would be perfect,” said Lancaster.

“Though we’re fairly certain colonial types aren’t literate, we’re hopeful that maybe the referee or one of the linesmen might be able to read out the letter to the All Blacks.”

In a late scoop, Sportbox have managed to get a copy of the letter that Robshaw will hand to Richie McCaw at the conclusion of the haka.

Dear Mr McCaw,

It is with the greatest pleasure, and humility, that we duly accept the challenge laid down by your “haka” war dance. Though we would like to express our distress that the final gesture – where you appeared to indicate you would like to slit our throats with one of your primitive, native weapons. While we hope you only meant that metaphorically, it’s got a few of the younger chaps a little upset, so if you could please pop over and reassure them before we kick off, it would be greatly appreciated. A few of them were watching that positively dreadful clip of that Jonah Lomu fellow rudely running over the top of Mike Catt and they are just a little sensitive about these things now days.

Furthermore, we would like to wish you and your team mates all the best for this afternoons sporting encounter, and you are all invited to tea and scones back at our club rooms after the match.

Oh, one last thing, apparently you have a certain drinking vessel that goes by the name William Webb Ellis in your possession. It would be ever so nice if you could hand that over at the end of today’s play.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Robshaw

New All Blacks jersey to be see-through to boost TV audience numbers

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Adidas have revealed the All Blacks’ new jersey design will be a revolutionary new fabric that is completely see-through, giving the players protection from the elements while enabling TV producers to beam gratuitous images of Sonny Bill Williams’ torso to the world.

A promotional video waxed lyrical about the technology used to develop the jerseys, pointing out that after significant development costs, the cutting-edge invisible fabric cost nothing to produce, leading to claims that the players weren’t actually wearing jerseys at all.

“We’re extremely proud of the synergy between the All Blacks pushing the limits of athletic ability while we push the limits of science,” said Adidas spokesman Hans Kuhscheiße. “This new jersey produces an optimal aerodynamic effect for the players, while minimising available areas for opposition teams to grab onto during tackles and rucks.”

Mr Kuhscheiße went on to point at several diagrams of the transparent qualities of the jerseys while several All Blacks wearing the new strip walked in.

When challenged as to whether the All Blacks were wearing any jerseys at all, Mr Kuhscheiße dismissed such claims as “Utter nonsense. This isn’t about Adidas saving money or the NZRU trying to boost crowd attendance and TV subscribers by reducing your players to pieces of eye candy.

“And really, who’s is going to complain about more shots of Sonny Bill Williams topless, right?”

One journalist was removed from the press conference after rushing the stage and attempting to twist Dan Carter’s nipples in an attempt to test whether the new jerseys actually existed.

Asked about how sponsor logos and player numbers were going to be included on the new jersey, Mr Kuhscheiße pointed out that due to the new technology, the AIG and Adidas logos would be tattooed onto player’s chests, “Rendering them absolutely valueless to any rival, future sponsors.”