Sport Box

Tag - Wellington

Chris Boyd: Highlanders likely to be confused by bright lights, modern city

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Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has fired the first salvo ahead of Saturday night’s Super Rugby final against the Highlanders by alleging that the southern team’s preparations will be hampered as their players adjust to things such as flushing toilets, telephones, and electric lighting.

“It’s obviously a big cultural adjustment Jamie Joseph will have to lead the team through,” said Boyd following Hurricanes training this morning. “Coming from Dunedin, which is still a 19th century colonial city that only recently got telegraph wires, to a modern, cosmopolitan city like Wellington which has ultra-fast fibre, electric street lights, plenty of cars, and flushing toilets, it’s going to be a big adjustment for their team.”

Boyd pointed out that the Highlanders had already struggled to get their players to board an Air New Zealand flight to Wellington, “From what I head most of the team were wanting to come by steamer up the coast, they really thought that the aircraft was powered by some sort of witchcraft or sorcery.”

For their part, the Highlanders said they were trying to ignore those distractions and focus on the task at hand.

“You can etch and print what you want in your woodcuts and broadsheets,” said Highlander’s coach Jamie Joseph. “We’re just focused on the game and getting Ben Smith out of police custody after that unfortunate incident where he tried to dig a long drop on Featherston Street. We tried to assure him that the flushing toilet wouldn’t swallow him, but he didn’t believe us.”

 

Pre-game analysis: Hurricanes must score more points than Brumbies

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After a stellar season the Hurricanes meet the Brumbies in a Super Rugby semi final showdown in Wellington. But the key question is – what do the Hurricanes need to do to beat the Brumbies?

Score more points. History shows that the team with the most points at the end of 80 minutes are the winners of the game. If you score less points than the opposition, then you lose.

So how can the Hurricanes do that?

They need to either have someone kick the ball through the opposition’s goal posts during general play, and get three points each time they do. Or they can place the ball on the ground over the opposition team’s “try line” and get five points each time. Then, if they kick the ball through the goal posts again, they get another two points. If they can’t do any of that, the Hurricanes will not score any points on Saturday night and they will not win. Unless the Brumbies also are unable to score any points, then we’ll play on until one of the teams have more points than the other.

Both these sides know how to score points, they’ve scored points in the other games they’ve played all season, and usually they’ve scored more points than the opposition, but what they really need to do is score points on Saturday night. Points scored in previous games aren’t carried forward. Only points scored in the two 40 minute halves following kick off at 7.35pm will count in determining who is the winner.

It’ll be a tight game. But I’m sure maths will be the winner on the night. As we need that to add up the scores and determine which team has accumulated the greater number of points.

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.”

Scientists analyse sweat of Wellington Lions to discover what defeat smells like

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Following a raft of discoveries to see what the moon, comets and outer space smelt like, scientists have taken swabs of sweat from the Wellington Lions to undercover what exactly what defeat smells of.

Much to their surprise, the stuff of crushed dreams and dashed hopes smells much like two day old seafood pizza along with a significant whiff of the type of plywood you find in wooden cooking utensils from Briscoes. The unique qualities of the smell seem to be driven by the high salt quantity of sweat, combined via a hot air induction process known as egofication with the remnants of too many team bonding sessions.

“It’s a truly remarkable smell to recreate in the lab,” said Dr Phil Pensky of Victoria University, “and being able to scientifically identify the chemical markers of losers means coaches can select players for their teams with much more confidence than every before.”

Sadly for Wellington sports fans, the smell has been found to be universal across its sporting franchises, with the chemical markers indicative of the smell being revealed as commonplace amongst its players.

“It’s hugely disappointing,” said John “Mystery” Morrison from his shower. “No matter how hard I try I’ve been trying to get rid of this smell for months but I just can’t.”

Scientists are divided on whether the smell is contagious, however their initial results into the Canterbury Crusaders appear to indicate that the smell of victory may be sugar based.

Firebirds promise start of a false dawn

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The newly crowned domestic one-day cricket champions, the Wellington Firebirds, have moved quickly to dampen expectations of their future success by promising fans that their first trophy in 12 years was only a false dawn and wouldn’t herald a new era of success for the region.

“Look, I think it’s pretty important that people realise that we were ridiculously lucky to even make it to the final,” captain James Franklin said on Saturday after the match. “Given how abysmally we played in other forms of the game, and how few international quality players we possess as a region, people shouldn’t get ahead of themselves just because we won this trophy.

“If it wasn’t for Kuggeleijn’s inability to bowl at the death, I’m pretty sure that we would have been screwed.”

Franklin went on to point out that, “We’ve seen people get far too excited about Wellington side’s winning titles before. Remember when the Lions won the NPC in 2000? They went on to do not much else for a long time, same thing when they won the Ranfurly Shield too. So as a team we’re keeping our sites set pretty low, which is basically trying not to embarrass ourselves completely next year.”

New Zealand Cricket Board member Martin Snedden agreed with Franklin’s sentiments. “We’ve seen how painful increased expectations can be,” Snedden said. “After the Blackcaps spectacular home series against the West Indies and India, getting knocked out of the T20 World Cup demonstrated how important it is to be honest about false dawns and the like.”

Snedden went on to add that, “Obviously we’d like to remind fans that, despite having home advantage, we fully expect the Blackcaps to choke at the ODI World Cup next year.”

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.”

Brockie: “Calling me a striker is a bit of a stretch”

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Under fire Wellington Phoenix striker Jeremy Brockie has conceded that continuing to describe himself as a striker might be stretching the truth about his footballing abilities, following his missing of what should have been an easy tap in with an empty goal in front of him against the Brisbane Roar on Saturday night.

“It really was a shocker, wasn’t it?” said Brockie, who blasted the ball high after finding it at his feet with an unguarded goal ahead following Stein Huysegem shot that was parried by Roar goal keeper Michael Theo. “I mean, all I had to do was tap the ball in. Hell, I could have dribbled the ball in, just like they teach kids in age grade stuff. But instead I just smashed that ball. I saw it in front of me and was like bam!”

“It’s made me do a lot of thinking about the position I choose to play in football,” continued Brockie. “I mean it can’t be any coincidence that along with missing that absolute sitter, I’ve also gone 42 international games for the All Whites without scoring a goal. That’s got to be some sort of record, surely? We basically just play Fiji, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands, how can I not be scoring against them when everyone else is?”

“Sure, I’ve got the ridiculous haircut, but is that really enough to call yourself a striker anymore? Calling me a striker is a bit of a stretch really isn’t it?”

When asked what caused him to try and make himself a striker in the first place, Brockie was quick to place the blame on “that whole bloody ‘well done for participating’ culture we have in this country. Maybe if someone had stopped the 10 year old me and said ‘Hey, Jeremy, you’re a bit shit at this whole football thing. Maybe you should carry the water?’ it could have saved us all a bit of embarrassment.”

Brockie was able about to take some consolation from his miss however, pointing out that “On the bright side, I’m not the first guy at Christmas time who’s seen the goal open before him and sprayed his shot high.”