HITS

Mountainbike cross country

Three Kiwis battling it out in the first four — a rare international sight. It turned into a dramatic, controversy laden stoush between the 2014 Glasgow gold-silver double act Sam Gaze and Anton Cooper. Gaze may have been portrayed as a villain, for his rude gesture towards Cooper, but his comeback win from a puncture was staggering.

The Games may be seen in a team/patriotic light, but cycling can be a rough and ready sport — just ask Jack Bauer who got punched during the Tour de France last year.

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The race spat has established a rare Kiwi rivalry in the public's mind. More than anything, it was just a terrific race. The cycling team starred even if an enthralling men's road race turned into a results disappointment.

Samuel Gaze and Anton Cooper celebrate winning the Men's Cross-country Mountain Bike in Nerang at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Photo / Greg Bowker.
Samuel Gaze and Anton Cooper celebrate winning the Men's Cross-country Mountain Bike in Nerang at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Photo / Greg Bowker.

Black Sticks

The post gold medal match jubilation among the players said it all. Olivia Merry described it as "indescribable". New Zealand doesn't get to smash the Aussies all that often in Games competitions. A first Commonwealth gold.

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Sam Gaze, Laurel Hubbard, sevens, netball and chants among highs and lows
Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony slammed by fans, media
Sophie Pascoe
Two more golds, adding to her amazing international haul. Flag bearer for the team, and swimming. The latter is the heavier load. Unbeatable. Next stop - Tokyo.

Hamish Bond
It's an odd business, cycling's individual time trial, when the race leader sits in a chair for all to see while the second wave of riders tries to knock him off. That was Bond's fate, and he had to settle for bronze. Bond seemed a little disappointed. For a champion rower to switch sports so successfully is amazing to most of us.

Joelle King
Dominated on the squash court with two golds. That's one beauty of the Commonwealth Games - it gives people who normally get minimal recognition some decent air time. King played a whopping 16 matches. She won a doubles title with Amanda Landers-Murphy, and also bronze alongside Kiwi men's star Paul Coll.

Tom Walsh
It's hard to remember a New Zealand athlete looking so confident before an event. He was a class above in this field, although his win was a little narrower than expected.

Jenny May Clarkson
The TVNZ reporter asked the question of the games, by telling Silver Ferns captain Katrina Grant some people doubted the team's pride. Whatever you thought of the question initially, Grant's emotional response showed it hit the mark. We keep asking interviewers to be harder, yet Clarkson was criticised. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. A big thumbs up here for Clarkson.

Katrina Grant
The Silver Ferns were terrible, but the captain honest and emotional.

Valerie Adams
Silver equals gold for a new mum.

Winning shot...Dame Valerie Adams with her baby daughter Kimoana Josephine Adams Price after claiming silver. Photo / Photosport
Winning shot...Dame Valerie Adams with her baby daughter Kimoana Josephine Adams Price after claiming silver. Photo / Photosport

MISSES

The athletics track

Not one medal? How could we sink so low? Speaking of sinking...New Zealand is not all that flash in the pool.

TVNZ
It wasn't all bad, but they had an excruciatingly annoying habit of cutting to banks of advertisements at vital moments. Either the dollar ruled, or TVNZ is simply out of live sport practice.

Silver Ferns
Where to start...maybe with the shooting, which was often abysmal. But the problems obviously go deeper than that. Having won gold or silver at every previous Games, they were well beaten by Jamaica in the bronze medal match. Heads will roll...although we should also say well done to Malawi after their shock victory. There may be disappointment with the Tall Blacks loss to Canada for instance, but basketball is a world sport. Netball is a little patch on which we once ruled.

Katrina Grant of New Zealand reacts. Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Netball, New Zealand Silver Ferns v England. Photo / Photosport.co.nz
Katrina Grant of New Zealand reacts. Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Netball, New Zealand Silver Ferns v England. Photo / Photosport.co.nz

Laurel Hubbard

Great transgender debate, shame about the injury.