NZME columnist Phil Gifford provides seven thoughts from the sporting week.
1) Super Rugby 2021
Australian rugby, short on fans, money, and decent results, is apparently under the impression they hold all the cards in the battle with New Zealand Rugby over how many of their teams should be in next year's super competition.
This may be a news break for our sunburnt cousins across the ditch, but the last time they had the Bledisloe Cup was in 2002, so long ago the average price of a house in Auckland was $290,000, Jacinda Ardern was at varsity in Hamilton, and most kids listened to music on iPods. Those aren't aces in your hand Digger, they're jokers, and they're laughing at you.
2) School sport on Sky
Shame on Sport New Zealand for not dismissing out of hand the plans, outlined in Dylan Cleaver's excellent investigation, for huge television coverage of secondary school sport.
The hypocrisy is staggering, in the wake of the announcement last September that our major sports would, in the words of Sport NZ's chief executive Peter Miskimmin, push back against "early specialisation, over-emphasis on winning, and other factors that are driving young New Zealanders away from sport."
If the answer is to put school sport on national television, then the question being asked is very, very wrong.
3) When did hitting a ball make anyone a medical expert?
Pat Cash was a terrific tennis player 30 or so years ago, and being a good looking guy he was a marketer's dream. But on Covid19 I'm with Donald Trump when he reluctantly suggested that maybe those "medical doctors" should be involved.
Cash has posted a conspiracy video that's been spruiked by Aussie chef Pete Evans. Like Cash, the brightness of Evans' teeth seem to be in inverse proportion to his brain.
4) Yep, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck really would suit a jersey with 15 on the back
The story that the Warriors' one man band was considering a switch to rugby appears to be one of a long line of silly beat ups by the league media in Sydney. But how could Kiwi rugby pulses not beat just a little faster at the headlines alone?
Look at the talents Tuivasa-Sheck would bring to rugby. Tough? As nails. Safe under the high ball? As a house. Solid on the tackle? As a rock. Brave? As Ned Kelly. Fast? As lightening. Pity it was just a fantasy from the world of Aussie scribblers.
5) Adversity does bring out the best of sportspeople in Canterbury
In 2011 after the earthquake the Crusaders were only robbed by a refereeing error of completing the most amazing sporting story in the world that year.
(No, this isn't Tuivasa-Sheck type speculation. You want details? On the afternoon of Monday, August 8, 2011, six days after the Super Rugby final in Sydney, which the Crusaders lost to the Waratahs, 33-32, referee Craig Joubert rang Cruaders' coach Todd Blackadder to say sorry. He shouldn't have awarded, he said, the last gasp penalty to the Tahs, that allowed Bernard Foley to kick the winning goal.)
What a fantastic effort from the Mainland Tactix netball team, to go from the outhouse of winning just 12 of their first 116 games from 2010 to 2017, to the penthouse of this year's final. To do so after their governing body collapsed, is astounding in the true dictionary sense of the word, as in causing astonishment or amazement.
6) They're right about Razor
Stuart Barnes and Mick Cleary, two English commentators who don't spend a lot of their time bagging New Zealand, are gagging at the chance that Scott Robertson might join Warren Gatland in the coaching group for the proposed tour of South Africa in June and July next year by the Lions. Robertson's enthusiasm would fit perfectly with motivating a large, diverse group in a very short time.
Unfortunately there is a glass that's at least half empty in the corner of the room. Jurie Roux, the chief executive of South African rugby, said this week that if Covid19 stops fans travelling from Britain and Ireland there would have to be some "serious reconsideration". There may not be a tour at all.
7) A favourite random memory
"I've been looking through the files on your career," I told 15 times world motorcycle speedway champion Ivan Mauger at the start of a 1982 interview. He replied. "I suppose you think I'm a prick now too, do you?"