Sport Box


Sport journalist who cracked Super Rugby’s format wins Nobel Prize for Physics


Aucklander and Newshub presenter Ross Karl has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics after becoming the first person to successfully understand Super Rugby’s new format.

Karl’s groundbreaking work, which took the form of two minute video, has successfully demystified the competition for anyone else who also possesses a post-graduate qualification in mathematics, meaning that most New Zealand pubs will be equipped with at least one person capable of explaining it to their friends.

“After I’d spent hours trying to replicate SANZAR’s fixtures list by using techniques such as spirographing, throwing darts at a board, and ingesting copious amounts of LSD, I uncovered that there was method to their madness,” said Mr Karl in an interview with Scientific Atheltican. “My discovery that SANZAR genuinely hates rugby fans, and sees them as little more than unintelligible cash cows was a huge eureka moment.”

Karl’s eureka moment led him to review a number of other SANZAR decisions that helped support his discovery.

“When you looked at the bigger picture, that SANZAR never gave previous format changes a chance to bed in beyond a year or two, or that they keep thinking that the quantity of rugby was more important in driving audience numbers than the quality of rugby – despite all evidence to the contrary – it really painted a picture that SANZAR just doesn’t give a damn about Super Rugby’s fans and assumes they’ll just throw their money at whatever sparkly new product and format they throw at them,” Karl said.

Karl also pointed out despite his discovery, nobody should be surprised by SANZAR’s behaviour. “To be honest, look at how the NZRU butchered provincial rugby in New Zealand. They had a great format in 2007 and 2008 that people were starting to turn back up to watch again, and then they proceeded to make the whole thing so complicated that to this day nobody knows what’s going on. It’s hardly surprising that with the NZRU involved with SANZAR, they’d take a similar approach to murdering any success Super Rugby had.”

Hurricanes relieved not to have any Super Rugby fixtures


Hurricanes fans were today sparred the ignominy of another disappointing Super Rugby season as SANZAR released the 2014 Super Rugby fixtures calender which contained no scheduled matches at all for the Wellington based franchise.

SANZAR CEO Greg Peters said that the decision to remove the Hurricanes from the season calender, while still pretending they were in the competition, was done out of compassion for long suffering Hurricane’s fans who each year find they are over-promised on the side’s potential, before seeing those hopes ruthlessly crushed. “We spent quite some time with the management of the Hurricanes trying to decide what was the best course of action for them,” said Peters, “Ultimately, rather than toy with the hopes and emotions of their loyal fans for yet another year, we all agreed that it’d be better for everyone if they simply didn’t play any Super Rugby fixtures to save everyone from getting embarrassed.”

Hurricane’s coach Mark Hammett welcomed the announcement, saying that he was looking forward to being employed for at least one more year. “I think it’s a really mature decision by SANZAR,” said Hammett, “After all, it should be pretty clear by now that I have no idea what I’m meant to be doing as coach, so at least I can go off and get someone to read to me from some books about the topic.”

Hammett added that he was “fairly certain” that omitting the Hurricanes from all Super Rugby matches in 2014 meant that “we can claim we went unbeaten next year,” but that he would “need to check with Snakey [Conrad Smith] who’ll explain to me how all this stuff actually works.”

Springboks complain blue pen used on team sheet


The Springboks have lodged a complaint with SANZAR in the wake of their defeat in the deciding test of the Rugby Championship over All Blacks manager Darren Shand filling in their team sheet in blue pen rather than black.

Springbok’s manager Ian Schwartz, who ran on the field to complain that he was unable to tell Dane Coles apart from Kevan Mealamu during the match, made the complaint directly to SANZAR CEO Greg Peters during the post-match presentations. Schwartz,who took to the stage and pushed Peters from the microphone, declared that “How can they call themselves the All Blacks when they used blue pen? Blue pen, that’s hardly all black is it?”

Schwartz then turned to Peters and started shouting “What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do? It’s cheating, clear and simple.” Schwartz went on to suggest that the result of the match be declared void and that the Rugby Championship decider be replayed in a sport where South Africa was more likely to win. Schwartz suggested that cricket, football or a “yachting series of 17 races” as possible alternatives.

All Black’s manager Darren Shand apologised for the confusion caused by his using blue pen on the team sheet, assuring people that “Wherever possible I do try and use a black pen, however as a result of human error I forgot to pack black pens in the team bag before. So I asked the Springboks if I could borrow one, but they only had green, red, blue and yellow pens, so I picked blue as the most neutral colour, and because it matches Beauden Barrett’s eyes.”

Schwartz’s post-match complaint speech was cut short when Springbok’s captain, Jean de Villiers tackled him from the stage.

Game of Thrones to screen at Super Rugby matches

game of thrones

In order to boost flagging attendance numbers, SANZAR CEO Greg Peters today announced that from 2014 all Super Rugby venues would show re-runs of Game of Thrones on their big screens. The move comes on the back of years of declining match day crowds and failure by local teams to successful boost those numbers on their own.

“We know that Super Rugby just isn’t the bums-on-seats generator that it once was,” Greg Peters said during the announcement, “and that we need to both adapt the entertainment package offered by Super Rugby as well as increase our appeal to a broader audience. Showing re-runs of Game of Thrones ticks both those boxes.”

The Game of Thrones episodes would be shown from start to finish, occasionally being punctuated by score updates and TMO decisions so that fans could pretend they were still paying attention to the rugby.

“When you think about the idea, it’s really a match made in heaven. People like to pretend they support their local rugby team while actually staying at home and watching American produced TV. At least this way they can do both of those things and continue to fill our coffers,” Greg Peters said.

When asked whether he had any concerns about the violent and sexually explicit content in the award-winning HBO series, Greg Peters replied, “Not at all. Unlike Ma’a Nonu’s shoulder charges, the acts of violence in Game of Thrones actually have a point to them and involved some amount of thinking by the characters involved.”

The SANZAR CEO conceded though that showing Game of Thrones could distract the players too, but pointed out, “For teams like the Hurricanes, being distracted by Game of Thrones doesn’t really matter as it’s not like they were playing rugby worth watching to begin with.”