Cameron McMillan makes a case for the most important sporting words of 2019.
No this is not a reference to Poland strikers Robert Lewandowski and Kamil Grosicki, it's following the repeated use of 'poles' in replace of wickets by Black Caps players when talking to the media over the recent England series. As in 'hopefully we'll get a few poles early tomorrow and get right back into the test'. We'll forgive them as long as they get plenty of poles in Australia.
It was the catch-cry for the Silver Ferns during the successful Netball World Cup campaign. Coach Noeline Taurua told TVNZ she wanted the side to be P.U.R.E to themselves in Liverpool. P - Play to win, U - United, R - Ruthless and E - Explosive.
Streaming was probably word of the year about six years ago for the younger generations of sports fans but it was new vernacular to a large chunk of the remote-reliable rugby viewers around New Zealand with Spark holding hosting rights to the Rugby World Cup. Some people had issues but if you had reliable internet it was a success .
In the year of 'cancel culture' the Rugby World Cup in Japan had an unwanted first with three games cancelled due to the threat of Typhoon Hagibis, which caused 95 deaths across Asia. It meant the All Blacks' final group game against Italy was recorded as a 0-0 along with the fellow Group B game between Namibia and Canada and the Group D clash between England and France. Most importantly the crucial Pool A game between Japan and Scotland went ahead with the hosts recording another stunning win to top the group and knock out the Scots, cancelling the Six Nations side's usual quarter-final exit plans.
It was the one word in Israel Folau's controversial social media post that probably needed Googling. Sports stars can't be idols.
A nominee most years, it became a talking point yet again at the start of the World Cup because an Irish writer had an issue with it and then England turned it into an even bigger focal point in their brilliant World Cup semifinal win over the All Blacks by forming a V formation as they faced the haka.
"To be honest it's gutting," said All Blacks skipper Kieran Read following his side's exit from the Rugby World Cup. It was Read's first-ever taste of defeat at a World Cup after being a winner in 2011 and 2015. It was also his 34th birthday.
There was a double dose of guttering when All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea, who was brilliant at the World Cup, revealed he'll miss most of Super Rugby after undergoing knee surgery.
"Pretty guttered [sic] when I found out," he posted on social media.
From VAR to the TMO, sport became increasingly more about people watching people watching sport in slow-motion this year.
'That magic three-letter word,' Kiwi commentator Ian Smith said when the third umpire decision came up on the big screen at Old Trafford following Martin Guptill's direct hit to run out Indian great MS Dhoni in the World Cup semifinal shock win over India. It was the moment that New Zealand fans released the Black Caps were all but into a second straight World Cup final.
The winner is...
And what a final it was....2019 was the year we learned boundaries were more important than anything else in the sport of cricket. Now we need to forget we learned that because the ICC have changed the countback rule following the World Cup final Super Over tie at Lord's. England won are a tie in the match and the deciding Super Over.