The theme this week is fall guys.

Solomon Haumono

Lets' face it. Former league forward Haumono has been hired to get knocked out by Joseph Parker - either that or fall over with exhaustion.

The shame about Haumono isn't his struggles as a boxer - his record looks way better than the reality - but a league career which didn't sustain the extraordinary heights it promised as a giant wrecking ball.

The man was derailed by serious issues, particularly addiction, which took Haumono and those around him to hell and back. To his credit Haumono appears to have dealt with this admirably.

As Parker's next project, Haumono has played his part perfectly so far. Fighters have to talk tough and Haumono has dutifully raved about his own power punching.

But Haumono is a patsy. He's a 40-year-old who is going to get his ass kicked by a much younger man with reasonable although not overwhelming world title ambitions, a rising 24-year-old with a lot to lose.

Parker needs a looming contest to keep training interesting, to stay focussed and fight ready. His backers might as well get another pay day.

Finding universally accepted rankings is difficult in boxing. But box-rec, a boxing data site, rates Parker at nine amongst the world's heavyweights and Haumono at 74.

Haumono is the perfect fall guy. He's a name, he looks in reasonable shape, he'll draw publicity in Australasia, and he has barely got a lucky-punch chance.


This bout makes sense in one way, but it's also out of kilter with Parker's promotion and development as a quality heavyweight.

Parker v Takam was a terrific contest. I can't help but feel that we were promised more however, that Takam was a step up and Haumono is a step backwards. That's boxing though, a mysterious and tricky world to navigate where one punch can change everything.

Steven Adams

Seriously? You can kick a guy in the private parts and get away with it in American basketball?

Oklahoma's rising Kiwi star Steven Adams was laid low by a plain-as-day assault from his Golden State opponent Draymond Green and the NBA didn't give a stuff, apart from a token foul upgrade and fining a guy who earns $24m a year a mere $37,000. This is classic slapped-with-a-wet-bus-ticket territory.

An NBA official Kiki VanDeWeghe reckoned: "During a game, players - at times - flail their legs in an attempt to draw a foul...." What Kicky Okay meant was this - "We are too scared to do the right thing during a finals series."

Green didn't flail a leg. He kicked Adams in the you-know-whats. Pure and simple. Green had already kneed Adams in the same area and then taunted him in a previous game in the western conference finals series. The first incident, during a Green layup, was marginal although suspicious. The latest attack was blatant, blatant, blatant no matter the odd commentator who tried to excuse it.

Green committed a serious assault in front of millions of people and got away with it. He should have been chucked out of one game, and maybe the entire series. Conclusion: the NBA has been gutless.

At least the fallen Adams rose to have the last laugh in victory.

Jordan Tai

Sometimes, taking a fall shines a light on a career. This is the unexpected story of the week.

Super middleweight Tai, who won the main fight on the Parker-Takam undercard, inadvertently upstaged the heavyweights after a victory celebration turned into a hilarious tangle with the ropes. Tai's premature victory leap came a cropper, making headlines and video highlights all over the world.


The Welsh rugby team have been set up to fail in New Zealand, with the first test of their tour being staged at the All Blacks' famous fortress of Eden Park. Hopefully, this rare three test series next month will throw up a great contest and storylines. Something different - and very different from convoluted Super Rugby and repetitive Rugby Championship matches - is all we ask for.

If Welsh strike weapons such as Taulupe Faletau and George North hit form, there is an outside chance they could pose problems for an All Black side in a rebuilding phase. And it would do world rugby no harm if the tourists could at least pinch their first test victory over New Zealand since the 1950s.

But clever succession planning means the All Blacks are never truly rebuilding, although they can't replace Richie McCaw's amazing warrior spirit and effect on team mates. Wales' best chance should be in the opening test, but not when it is at Eden Park. Branding protection methinks.

And finally, something completely different...

I only understand about 25 per cent of this quote from Cory Jane, but with a 100 per cent understanding of that portion.

Jane told AP that sevens coach Gordon Tietjens wants 100 per cent effort, even in training.

"And even if you've only got 50 per cent left to give, he'll demand you give 100 per cent of that 50 per cent."

A couple of players have told me over the years that Tietjens actually demands 110 per cent. Fair to say he is a notoriously tough taskmaster although his reputation as a sevens maestro is suffering given the latest win-loss percentages.

I haven't been a fan of sevens admission to the Olympics. But as Rio gets closer I'll admit that rugby will probably throw up nail biting and memorable contests. Time for a re-think on rugby and the Olympics maybe.