4 Jun

Export Yourselves
by Tony Elson
4 Jun 2008

Seems like Rat(ttue) has really stirred it up – supported by a lot of crap that is mostly (not all) coming out of the Canterbury region.

I think it is an
absolute disgrace that people won’t support the AB’s because Henry is in
charge.

What short bloody memories. Already people are just itching
for the Irish to win against a team with a week to prepare with a whole bunch of
new players in the squad. It is embarrassing and disgusting. Some
people have no shame, and definitely no class. What do the expect to happen
if Henry and Co get the sack? Replace that coaching team with the likes
of Foster and Colin Cooper? Deans ain’t coming back soon
unless he gets the boot!

I hope it is Deans
who completely falls on his arse – not because he has left NZ, but because he is
coaching our mortal enemies on the rugby pitch. I hope he fails miserably
because Australia has had too much influence in our rugby – and world rugby for
too long (for good reasons – like winning the WC twice, and bad for trying to
bend the rules to mitigate their suspect levels of depth in their
resources).

I hope he fails miserably because I hate Australia, and I love
the AB’s – that is it. I don’t wish him well from a professional point of
view because I like to see them lose. I probably wouldn’t feel the same if
he coached SA or Wales, or even England. We usually beat
them!

So, Henry…good
luck. You’re going to need it because one serious slip and they will be
baying for your blood. The pressure is really on these guys – but that is
what they get paid for. I hope they aren’t run out of the game by the
likes of the complete non-NZer’s at the Auckland Herald (the Rat) and those
utter disgraces who support Deans at all costs.

Maybe Chch should be
excluded from future AB tests until the residents can prove their NZ
citizenship! The real AB fans from the home of the Red Necks must be
cringing in their beer with shame and embarrassment. In fact, all of us
should be.

Loathe to promote Dominion Breweries, but I’ll pinch a quote
from them….”export yourselves”.

19 Dec

Commentary on the Commentary and Buy Me a Drink
by Tony Elson
19 Dec 2007

speights_goldIs it not time we got some balanced journalism from our rugby boys (and girls) in the NZ media? From radio to print, it is all fairly dismal, negative and one sided – despite what a good chunk of the population think. I guess the so-called experts know better.

 

I won’t comment (much) on the Sunday News – except to say that it is tabloid at its best – using every old stick-in-the-mud negative ex-coach and pseudo expert to drag everyone down to John Matheson’s mentality. Which one might add – is typically New Zealand. You know – Michael Cullen at his proverbial best calling John Key a rich prick just because he made a dollar or two. Jesus wept.

 

I am referring to the so-called intelligent media and I use the word intelligent cautiously. The Rugby Heaven website – which is basically a portal for all rugby written content from around NZ and Sydney, manages to display its bias with ease. The two original content providers (and again I’ll use original cautiously) are Duncan Johnstone – a regular for not using his spell and grammar checker, and Marc Hinton – who sometimes writes for the slightly more balanced Sunday Star Times although he has about as much balance as Donald Rumsfeld.

 

It is these two hacks that deserve a serve. I say hacks, because they provide little analysis apart from wanking on about sweet bugger all. Their analyses are often just fluff, with little substance. These guys are in a prime position to ask some hard questions but rarely do – and it would seem they repeat this at press conferences. Yes I watch the rugby channel and yes I have a source or two (she isn’t bad either). All we get is an attention grabbing headline and…..nothing.

 

No doubt, I should provide an example. So….I will. Article posted on Monday 17th December by Mr Hinton, titled Great Dilemma for Wallaby Robbie. Old Marc is pretty good at printing sound-bite stuff that if written subtly, can be pretty misleading. I am sure there is a term for that in journalism, but as I am not one, (not even hack – but I did not go to journalism school and waste my time just to become a hack), I do not know what it is.

 

Anyway, an example from the above article…not only have the NZRU seemingly abandoned the concept of accountability, transparency and fair process in the reappointment of Graham Henry and his cohorts; but they’ve handed our best coach straight to the Wallabies to rebuild their fragile international presence.

 

Firstly, the use of the word seemingly, is downright sneaky. Old Marc baby is presenting this as the NZRU not being kosher while trying to cover his butt by the use of the word seemingly. Has he said why or how they are not going through due process? In any article? No. All he is presenting here is his own verdict of events – despite what various representatives from the NZRU have said. Apart from inviting the Fourth Estate to the process, they have to take the NZRU’s word for it. And believe me, I am no fan of the NZRU. But, from what some media have reported, the process has been correct. From what NZRU board members and other NZRU members have said, the process has been correct. I would like Rugby Heaven to provide proof to contrary – or just shut up about it. Maybe the boys at RH are desperate for something newsworthy, and I bet they are missing Press Box about now, so they can really get blue in the face about it.

 

Here is another quote from our intrepid reporter from the same article…And if I’m a board member of the NZRU or, worse, if I’m Steve Tew suddenly I’m sleeping a little uneasily. What is it they say? What goes around comes around. Or, things have a way of coming back to bite you in the bum.

Well that could work for you too old man. I’ll be waiting to see if Deans comes up short, and what you will write in response – which should be something tasting like humble pie. Despite what he writes, Mr. Intrepid is just itching for Henry to lose. It is very obvious in this, and any other number of articles written by our eager beaver that he just hates Henry being the coach. Johnstone is hardly any better. There is hardly an article written by Stone Cold Duncan that is not missing a word, something is spelt badly, or he has got Intrepid to give him some advice on analytical skills.

 

Being in Britain and France for the WC07 was not easy after we lost. We were all asking what the hell happened. We all had opinions on rotation, reconditioning and rest. We all want to know Henry’s full blown version and answers to some bloody hard questions. We all deserve them but I don’t think any media has really got to the guts of this. Web writers don’t have newspaper deadlines and have it easier in my opinion. Get off your arses RH and do some journalism instead of just blogging when you get out of bed at 11.30am every day – let alone relying on feeds from the other sources.

 

I am not a huge Deans fan, but I would not have been unhappy if he had been selected. I feel the same way about Henry. There are good reasons for both coaches. All RH (and you lot should know better) is doing are feeding the tall poppy cutters and the Matheson’s, Stu Wilson’s, Doug Golightly’s of this world. I am not asking for much really guys. Henry is still a good coach. He still deserves some respect and we deserve better representation of what is rugby news.

 

So get over it. Concentrate on providing some stuff on the coming year. The ELV’s would be a good start, and what that might do to our game (or not). I know RH has given this some space, but again it has not provided a lot of substance. Maybe you lot need another resource to actually study the game and provide some commentary on it. Tracey Nelson might be a go (except she is in a bad mood right now). Hey, give me a call. I’ll charge you a flat rate. But give us some rugby for god’s sake. Some of us are desperate. Please – anything is better than the continual harping and whining about Deans being lost to Australia, and hoping Henry and the All Blacks lose. It is just downright unpatriotic and distasteful – and that is not being blinkered either.

 

To top it off, our mate Marc is an Otago supporter right? Well so am I – one of the few left by all accounts. What self-respecting Otago supporter gives a toss about anyone or anything from Canterbury? Canterbury should be towed east of the Chathams and left to drift towards Chile.

 

I am now sure I can hear regular Haka ranter and rabid Cantabrian Tracey telling me to …get lost – probably in less polite words. But at least Tracey is up front about being blind and from Canterbury.

 

I mean, there is a bloody poll on who should be Robbie’s assistant coach? Who the hell cares? How about a poll on who should be Graham Henry’s assistant coach (or coaches). I had a discussion about this the other day with my swamp supporting brother-in-law. He reckons Pat Lam would be brilliant (and I agree) and maybe Vern Cotter or the bloke from Hawkes Bay. Henry could well do with some fresh ideas. Might be an article lead for RH eh boys (I’ll send you the invoice).

 

Anyway, it is Christmas. Buy me a drink.

 

22 Jun

Kiwi on Tour
by Tony Elson
22 Jun 2005

So how are we rating the Lions tour to date? The pre-match entertainment (if you can get served), and the crowds and the after-match (if you can remember it), are all great. The rugby – well we have seen glimpses of some good Lions play, some stoic play from the NZ provincial sides and a guts and glory performance by the Maori (and the nude rugby wasn’t too bad – but where were the chicks?). What does it all mean?

So far, one case of a serious hangover and smelly guts that lasted for 3 days (care of Rotovegas – must have been that hot-dog), a great emotional ride in Hamilton (where I stayed sober – had to drive back to South Auckland as my 12 yr old doesn’t drive too well), and another case of travel-lag – a flying visit to that grand old town in Otago.

I do have to say the Lions fans have been bloody good value. Some even know about rugby! Had a great banter going on in Vegas – except I can’t remember what I was talking about. Made some new friends there too – but I forget their names (thank God for the women – they swapped details and have started emailing). The fans in Hamilton were mainly pissed – but happily so. And in Dunedin (that fine cultural city that exports all its good things north), we had the pleasure of some sweaty socks parked up in front of us, where we swapped beer and single-malt.

So far I have made three games, and intend on doing at least one more (I have tickets for the 3rd test, but a prior engagement may keep me occupied – who the f**k would have kids I tell you). It’s been fun so far. Nothing too emotional from the fans or in the press, but you can feel that changing by the minute as we lead into the first test. Henson may have started some grumbling. What us Kaiwais need is for us to win and win well, to see some wheels fall off. You can sense something smelly rising when the Celts are starting to get pissed off over team selections – by the fans here (yes our Scot friends at the Brook were none too happy), or by pundits in the Brit press (see JPR). Maybe Clive has got it right, and has hid some plays from us – but personally, I can’t see it. I mean, these guys have never, and I mean never, played any other way. We know they’ll kick for territory, and drive from the lineouts, and B-train their way up the field with the ball neatly tucked up that old geezer’s jersey.

Let’s hope those at the Holy Grail on Saturday can set the tone – let the Brits (and Micks) shout the drinks and then nail their chicks! The AB win will be all the sweeter.

One last thing – the NZ refs are a gutless bunch of IRB arse-licking toadies. Tell the bloody poms (yes, it’s mainly the English – and the BOD) to stop their whinging. We all saw in the Southland match last night the Lions coming in from the side, and getting away with it, while dopey Deaker penalises the in-breds for the same thing. And then gets overwhelmed by the conversation. Penalise them FFS.

Anyway, I’m stocking up the fridge, the wife is away, and I’m in training for Saturday night. Go the Blacks, and may all you Lions fans keep drinking, and keep not showering. After awhile, your underwear will turn carnivorous and consume your genitals – that way their will be less of you in the future.

Speights please chaps.