Sunday, August 09, 2015

Sunday Snippets - yet more sport: cricket, netball, rugby union

Much sport around at the moment. Probably least said, soonest mended the better about Australia's performance against England in the Ashes. Definitely not a happy camper on this one.

The Netball World Cup is on in Sydney with sixteen national teams competing. The photo shows the Malawi Queens, an Australian crowd favourite,  playing Sri Lanka. Malawi won 101-18. It's a rags to riches story, with the team's performance featured back home in the Nyasa Times.  

Like rugby, netball is trying to spread as a global games. Like rugby, there is a huge difference in performance between top and bottom national teams. Like rugby, netball provides an opportunity to play what is effectively a niche sport in many parts of the world.

This is lower level international netball, the 2011 Brussels semis, Copenhagen (black) v Switzerland, eldest in centre stage.

On rugby, last night Australia played New Zealand. It was the last game in the Rugby Championship, the Southern Hemisphere competition between Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina. It was also the first Bledisloe Cup match, the Cup awarded for competition between New Zealand and Australia. 

I really was nervous going into the match. Given my part Kiwi ancestry, I'm quite happy to cheer for New Zealand against Australia in the rugby league; that's an underdog thing, but union is different. New Zealand is such a rugby union powerhouse while the Australian team, the Wallabies, is also known as the Wobblies for very good reason.

Nervously I carted the heater into the lounge room and turned the TV on, quite ready to go to bed if a rout occurred. There was a large crowd (over 74,000) in the stadium to watch the match. 

As always, the match began with the national anthems. The New Zealand anthem is slightly complicated, with differing Māori and English versions. Public presentations usually involve the first verse of both language versions, beginning with the Māori.  I have often heard it, but didn't know the Māori version. This is it in Māori. 
E Ihowā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
Āta whakarangona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai
And this is the English translation:
O Lord, God,
of all people
Listen to us,
Cherish us
May good flourish,
May your blessings flow.
I guess that's probably more than you want to know, but I was curious! 

From the beginning, it was clear that both sides were a little nervous, with the All Blacks making some unexpected errors. 

At half time, the All Blacks were 6-3 in front. The game see-sawed until, finally, the Wallabies were able to establish a winning position, running out winners 29-19. 

The photo comes from the ABC summary of the match. Happy, I turned the heater off and went to bed. 


Anonymous said...

I expect I'm a traitor to the Australian cause, but I really enjoyed the Silver Ferns approach to a game they weren't supposed to win.

So good to see sport played for the sheer athleticism of it!


Jim Belshaw said...

Good morning, kvd. So did I in fact.