If the Black Ferns Sevens keep up their current momentum, they could well go down as one of the greatest sports teams ever.

Glass ceiling? Forget it. You could put a reinforced steel ceiling over this group of women and they would absolutely destroy it. And they'd do it in style.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallists and World Cup winners have started 2019 with wins in Hamilton and Sydney and looking at the way they have played in those tournaments, stopping them seems virtually impossible.

So far this year, the Black Ferns Sevens have played nine matches and won them all. In those nine games they have scored an impressive 255 points while conceding just 48, including an emphatic 34-10 win over Australia to claim the title in Sydney.


I watched as much of the Sydney tournament as I could during the weekend and the Black Ferns Sevens produced some play so scintillating it literally had me on my feet.

When it comes to entertainment, the women are no longer playing catch-up with their male counterparts.

Not only are they successful, but they are exceptional role models, not just for young girls, but any children interested in playing sport. There is a humble yet confident aura surrounding the side which sets a fine example for the next generation of Kiwi superstars.

I took great pleasure this week in interviewing Rotorua's Polly Playle, a rugby star in her own right for Rotoiti and the Bay of Plenty Volcanix, about her new role as the Central Bay of Plenty junior rugby officer.

While the role is all about helping both boys and girls develop a love for the game, she spoke passionately about the pathways that now exist for women and how excited she is to show that to young people. People like Playle and the Black Ferns Sevens are laying a platform for that next generation to stand firmly upon in search of success. Check out Playle's story in Thursday's paper.

When will NRL players learn?

In my opinion, the on-field action in the NRL is more exciting than any other sport - I'm a massive fan. Unfortunately, the off-field action is an utter disgrace.

In no other sport do players so regularly find themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Drink driving, domestic abuse, drug use - it never ends.

Disgraced rugby league star Ben Barba in action for St Helens. Photo / Getty Images
Disgraced rugby league star Ben Barba in action for St Helens. Photo / Getty Images

The latest is former Dally M Medal winner and Cronulla premiership hero Ben Barba who has been sacked by his new side the North Queensland Cowboys before the season has even started.

The Courier Mail reported Barba allegedly attacked his partner and mother of their four daughters and Townsville police were reportedly investigating the incident.

This is the man who has just returned to NRL from England's Super League after being banned in 2016 for failing a drug test.

The NRL is now considering a lifetime ban for Barba, and in my opinion, it may be the only way he will learn.

The sport as a whole needs to come down harder on wrong-doers. So often a player is sacked by one club, but allowed to be picked up by another, desperately seeking an edge in one of the world's most competitive competitions.

I don't know whether rugby league is the type of sport which attracts men who think domestic abuse is okay, or whether it is the culture of the sport that makes them that way, but children look up to them and they are setting a miserable example.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it is the minority of players involved in the sport committing these atrocities. Most represent their clubs with pride, just look at the rest of the Cowboys squad who aided Townsville residents during flooding this week.

Unfortunately, the good majority are being let down by a pathetic minority of players who can't sort themselves out.