Chris Rattue 's Opinion

Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue: Three cheers for two-metre Peter

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Peter Fulton. Photo / Getty Images
Peter Fulton. Photo / Getty Images

"Two Metre" Peter Fulton is a cricketer who, as it turned out, is easy to root for. I particularly liked the understated way he celebrated his sensational twin century act against England at Eden Park.

We've stumbled upon an unlikely sporting hero, a forgotten man no more.

Even his nickname is a treat against the usual formula. If Fulton were a footballer, his handle would be Fults or Fulty (although the latter would be appropriate as in Fulty Tower).

What a third test performance from the giant, and there might be hope - although whisper this quietly for fear of tempting fate - that New Zealand have a sound opening test partnership in the making.

The lack of opening strength has had a devastating domino effect on New Zealand cricket.

Fulton and Hamish Rutherford were a revelation by New Zealand standards.

Against a long backdrop of hopeless combos, they suggested New Zealand is on the right track in this troublesome area, even if Fulton is hardly a spring chicken with an overly long future. On a cautionary note, opposing attacks will pick their games apart now.

Fulton had a remarkable test, and took it in his long stride. No helmet slurping, kisses to the camera, leaping about, bat thrusting or kissing of tattoos revealing the names of his family members, car, old girlfriends and/or inspirational mottos like "be strong". So two thumbs up for Two Metre Peter, a measured man.

Nowhere is sport's self-congratulatory orgy at its worst than in soccer, where the merest tap-in of a goal can lead to crest-kissing, chest-thumping, jersey-wrenching mayhem.

They might dance before the fans but it's all about them - there's every chance the goal scorer's agent will be talking to another club before the nets have even been put away.

And don't get me started on the mass high fives, head rubbing and bum patting that goes on in league after every flippin' try. This is the biggest cringe in sport. Far better were the days when celebrations were genuinely spontaneous and fitting. The constant show-off stuff, with exaggerated patriotism or club loyalty thrown in, denies the truly amazing moments their full due.

The outwardly mild-mannered achievers like Fulton make you want to cheer even louder in this showboating environment. And if ever a man had cause to leap about it was Fulton after his charge out of the wilderness. Fabulous stuff, Mr Fulton.

Bring back Bluey

If the Matt Elliott era at the Warriors involves more of the same, they might as well drag Brian McClennan back to Mt Smart. As disastrous as 2012 turned out to be, at least Bluey's Warriors knew how to attack. It is a stretch to say those Warriors lost in style, but they were mildly interesting.

Having keenly followed the Warriors since 1995, the opening three rounds of 2013 rate among the grimmest in this club's erratic and mainly disappointing history.

The loss of James Maloney is shaping as a disaster but Feleti Mateo, Shaun Johnson, Kevin Locke and Konrad Hurrell are still weapons, and they are lying sadly dormant.

Half an hour of decent football out of three games - the rest being absolute rubbish - is as low as it gets.

The Warriors have heavy legs and are disorganised. Former All White Dr Ceri Evans is on board as the mental skills coach. He might be a genius with what lies inside the cranium, but the Doc should check out his own thinking after taking on this assignment.

Mental skills? Physical ones should come first, and the mindset will follow.

The Warriors' best periods last year occurred when props Ben Matulino and Russell Packer worked in tandem.

Trusty Rusty, due back from injury, is an unlikely saviour but these are already desperate times.

Nonu on holiday

The Dunedin tourism board may be impressed, but few others will be. Ma'a Nonu has decided Dunedin is a holiday resort, judging by the way he played for the hopeless Highlanders against the Chiefs.

Nonu should have hurled himself forward but instead, one of the biggest and best midfield line breakers in the business hurled the ball sideways and ran about in places that didn't matter. Then again, he might be the victim of a poorly coached side.

- NZ Herald

Chris Rattue

Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue writes about a wide range of sports for the New Zealand Herald. He has covered numerous sporting events for the Herald including Rugby World Cups and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Read more by Chris Rattue

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