Good evening, and here are the news highlights from the past week.
The Super Rugby Pacific 2022 has been won by the Canterbury Crusaders. Was it a game of two halves? Well, yes and no. Or, more definitely, maybe.
The teams both ran out onto the sodden paddock eager for the win and knowing that ball retention would be key.
"Yeah, no, you've got to retent the ball," one player told me.
So both teams gave it a crack. When they trotted onto the field they were clearly there to play footy.
Then it was all about fronting up to the opposition, doing the hard yards, setting a platform, getting hands on the pill and dotting it down over the line then booting the ball between the sticks. And playing for the whole 80 minutes.
There was a point in the second half when the game could have gone either way or even ended up a draw. It could also have gone down to the wire but, as any rugby fan knows, it's never over until the fat lady blows the whistle.
Ultimately the Canterbury boys clearly wanted the result more and kept their noses ahead so they finally came away with the points on the board and the win on the day.
There were times when the referee had to go upstairs but that's all part of the modern game. Besides which, it's not too strenuous as it's all done digitally these days.
The kicking ranged from some real shockers, through to pretty average punts, to sideline kicks which overcooked it. One aerial punt went right down the fielder's throat (oops, sorry, wrong sport!). But when they drilled it they drilled it.
Of course, in the post-match post-mortem, both captains were very proud of their boys. Each probably acknowledged that they knew the other team would come out hard but the Blues probably had to concede that the Crusaders must have come out harder and wanted it more. On the day.
Winning captain Sam Whitelock said: "It's not all about scoring points sometimes, it's about stopping them from scoring."
Frustrated Blues captain Beauden Barrett said: "We've got to give credit to the Crusaders, their defence was fantastic. It's a tough one to swallow."
But not all this week's news is hard to swallow. The (reported) Covid numbers are starting to fall. We are still getting the points on the board but the daily numbers are declining. Ball retention has surely been a key factor. A Ministry of Health representative said he was overjoyed to see Eden Park packed to capacity, just like the old days.
In the Tauranga by-election, there could only be one winner - the National candidate got the points on the board and came away with the win on the day. But the Labour candidate can also be proud of her success, so full credit to her too, though rugby was probably the real winner on the day.
June 19 was World Albatross Day. DOC said Aotearoa is not just the rugby capital of the world but also the seabird capital of the world. They said albatrosses and petrels are the most threatened groups of birds globally so they really need to come away with the win on the day. Full credit to both for their tenacity so far.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to become the first New Zealand leader to attend the upcoming Nato leaders' summit, so that just goes to show the advantages of leading a rugby nation.
Full credit to her. And, of course, to the Crusaders.
That is the end of the news.
Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, musician and public speaker.