At the start of 2021, I followed the time-honoured tradition of sportswriters making predictions so I could repost them on Twitter later in the year if they actually eventuated ... and I'm here to tell you I was right - at least once.
Crusaders to win Super Rugby something - Correct
What I said: Not the boldest prediction as they've won something the last four years and they get two bites this year with Super Rugby Aotearoa followed by the transtasman competition. Expect more pressure to loom on the All Blacks coach when Scott Robertson again performs his victory breakdance – maybe even twice. Super Rugby Aotearoa will be a big success in terms of crowds again because we enjoy watching local derbies, although those same fans will find something else to do on a Saturday night in Auckland when the Force are in town.
What happened: Ok this was an easy prediction to make. A quick view of the highlights shows a fairly empty Eden Park for the Blues-Force clash even though a win booked the Blues a spot in the Transtasman final.
Predictor score - 1/1
Warriors won't make the playoffs - Correct
What I said: We're on a roll here at sticking our necks out. I just can't see much difference from the 2020 version of the Warriors. Nathan Brown doesn't exactly inspire me as a coach to lead the Warriors to the promised land and there haven't been significant offseason moves to turn them into sudden contenders. As it stands starting the season without any home games already puts them at a distinct disadvantage. Another year of being just outside the eight and some good use of the term "mathematical" in the sport section.
What happened: They finished 12th, four points out of the top eight, and their captain left mid-season. Chalk it up as another forgettable season but a monster effort considering they spent the whole time in Australia.
Predictor score - 2/2
Team New Zealand will win the America's Cup - Correct
What I said:Team New Zealand will lose two races to American Magic but will defend the Auld Mug for the first time since 2000. The nation will go gaga. "Sailing Away" will reach number 43 on local iTunes. Mr Boats will sell out of boats.
What happened: They lost three races to Luna Rossa but I'll take the point on that. American Magic struggled after sinking. I think "Sailing Away" got to as high as 65.
Predictor score - 3/3
Another World Cup win - Wrong
What I said: With New Zealand, or more accurately Auckland and Whangarei, hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2021 and the Black Ferns having the Covid-free opportunity to play domestic rugby in the past year - it seems all the signs are pointing towards a sixth World Cup title. It's going to be a tough Halberg Awards pick for Team of the Year in 2021 with possible Olympic champions (see Black Ferns Sevens) up against Team New Zealand and the Black Ferns.
What happened: Nothing. The World Cup was moved until late next year and I'm predicting I won't be making the same prediction after the Black Ferns finished their Northern Tour with four straight defeats to England and France.
Predictor score - 3/4 Stupid Covid.
Black Caps will play at Lord's - Correctish
What I said: How can you not back the seemingly unstoppable force that is the Black Caps at the moment? Kane Williamson's side will complete a 2-0 series sweep of Pakistan and just have enough percentage points to force India out of the World Test Championship final. It will be Australia v New Zealand in the final but, apologies to Hamilton and Waikato Tourism, Seddon Park is not Lord's and playing away from home for the first time in 20 months won't work in the Black Caps' favour.
What happened: Ok, they didn't play at Lord's as the World Test Championship final was moved to Southampton, and the opposition wasn't Australia, but I picked that like Williamson picking a Ravichandran Ashwin wrong-un. But I didn't pick them to win it all and make me cry real happy tears.
Predictor score - 3.5/5 Half point off for not having faith in Gary Stead's side to go all the way.
Lydia Ko will win an LPGA tournament or two - Correct
What I said: Ko may have gone a second straight year without a victory but she'll finally break the drought in 2021. Her form in 2020 was certainly on the up with five top-10 finishes and 12 of 13 cuts made. The former world number one was oh so close to breaking the win drought when she coughed up a five-shot lead to Danielle Kang at the Marathon Classic. And it wouldn't be surprising if the victory is a major win. Of the four majors played in 2020, she cracked the top 20 in each of them. She may even get another Olympic medal as well.
What happened: Bang on. One win on the LPGA tour, one win on the Ladies European Tour and a second Olympic medal. It's almost as if I wrote the script for the brilliant 2021 Ko had. We're on a roll.
Predictor score - 4.5/6
EPL will come down to the last weekend - Wrong
What I said: Every week it seems a new side sits on top of the Premier League table which is making great viewing. Who knew a competition without a salary cap could be so even? May 14 will be the crucial fixture when Manchester United will beat Liverpool setting up a wild finish with four teams in the running on the final day. Liverpool will end up winning by goal difference.
What happened: Liverpool beat Manchester United 4-2 in that game which saw them jump to ... fifth! By that point of the season Manchester City were 10 points clear at the top before winning the title by 12 points over United. It did not go down to the last weekend as City won the title with three games to go.
Predictor score - 4.5/7
Tokyo 2021 won't be our best Olympics - Wrong
What I said: Who knows what to predict from the delayed Tokyo Games? Maybe it will benefit Covid-free nations like New Zealand where athletes have had more freedom to train. All it would take would be our rowers, sailors and track cyclists to get an edge over their European counterparts and we could see a medal surge. I'll play it safe and leave Covid-related effects out of it. Lock in the Black Ferns Sevens for gold, for Lisa Carrington to claim the K1 200m for a third straight Olympics and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke to win a second gold because it's going to be a big year for them. Maybe another surprise gold to make it four again, equaling the number in Rio. But the silver and bronze will take a dip from five years ago. Gold 4, Silver 6, Bronze 6 for a total of 14.
What happened: We got six silver medals! But yeah I was wrong as it turned out to be our best Olympics with 20 medals in total. I was right about the Black Ferns and Carrington but they were easy picks.
Predictor score - 4.5/8
Scott Dixon to just keep winning - Wrong
What I said: Dixon will make it a seventh IndyCar title but will fall short at Indy again. Scott McLaughlin will take a while to get used to the single-seater series but he'll get a top-five finish towards the back end of the season.
What happened: Dixon ended up finishing fourth but remained in the title race up until the penultimate event. He had pole at Indy but an incident blocked pit-lane and saw him run out of fuel, wrecking his chances. McLaughlin had a brilliant season to claim rookie honours including a memorable second place behind Dixon in Texas.
Predictor score - 4.5/9
All Blacks will win, lose and maybe draw a test - Correct/Wrong
What I said: It's hard to get excited about the prospect of an All Blacks test in 2021. We've been conditioned that it's all about the World Cup and that's still two years away. The Rugby Championship in Australia wasn't a great tournament, luckily the Pumas made it interesting. Hopefully, South Africa will be able to take part this year and we can witness the greatest rivalry in rugby again. If that doesn't happen then more Wallabies tests and multiple games against Italy doesn't really set up a tantalising schedule for Foster's sophomore year. Maybe we as fans should do a Brodie or a Beaudie and take a sabbatical.
The Springboks will beat the Lions 2-1, doing what the Pumas did and proving that taking a lengthy break from international rugby doesn't matter much.
What happened: In retrospect too much fence-sitting in this prediction, and it proved to be a long schedule in the end for the All Blacks, but I get half a point for correctly picking the Boks-Lions result.
Predictor score - 5/10
Other predicted winners
Joseph Parker to Junior beat Fa by unanimous decision - Correct
NBA: LA Lakers - Wrong (Milwaukee Bucks)
Super Bowl: Buffalo Bills over New Orleans Saints - So wrong (Tampa Bay over Kansas City)
AFL: Brisbane - Wrong - Made semifinals (Melbourne beat Western Bulldogs)
World series: Chicago White Sox - wrong - Made playoffs (Atlanta Braves)
A-League: Sydney FC - Wrong - Lost final to Melbourne City
Danish Superliga: Brøndby - Correct! Won their 11th title.
Final tally - 7/17