The All Blacks are killing world rugby

There are various ailments in the game of rugby with the ability to undermine the health and wellbeing of its international scene and I’m certain they would be causing many restless nights in the sleeping quarters of the IRB front offices.

If we could take a look inside their global rugby medical journal, you can bet we would see a number of hazardous diseases on the watch list that have been marked with the red pen of concern by the top brass.

Chalk them up for another 6. Minimum.

Of course, there would be your modern day sureties; the rising threat of uninspiring pack-based game plans, the fogginess created by mystifying breakdown laws and Greg Martin’s commentary, just to name a bone-chilling few.

However, all of these currently manageable contaminants look like influenza college dropouts in comparison to the latest sophisticated and seemingly unstoppable assault on the rugby immune system.

And the most chilling aspect will frighten the cauliflower ears right off the most hard-boiled melon: this looming threat is also the game’s most admirable and respected antibody.

It’s bloody New Zealand.

For so long the cherished remedy to bland rugby and big boss insomnia, it’s the All Blacks that are now killing the attraction of world competition with their petrifying combination of galactical standards and immense hunger for success, which is repeatedly resulting in the predictable pulping of oppositions the world over.

Reasonable balance is being slowly pilfered and this can be seen in numerous ways.

Firstly, I refer you to the entirely accurate and watertight yardstick that is the IRB world ranking system which has our oft-vanquished and forever-blamed Wallabies currently perched in 2nd spot.

Besides conveniently upholding a country’s recent affinity for the bridesmaid’s position, 2nd place’s main directive is to provide those in 1st position with their sternest test, right?

At this point in time, there isn’t even a kindergarten pop quiz being applied. The All Blacks leave the Wallabies looking like nothing more than a gaggle of leather-clutching witches hats, anchored tackle bags and harmless reincarnations of video footage due to their disgracefully supreme invincibility.

Australia: again producing number twos on the weekend.

They haven’t let Australia put a grubby fingerprint on the Bledisloe for 10 years, and they even kept them scoreless for the first time since 1973 on the weekend just gone.

What’s it saying when the second best team in the world can’t even spring for a couple of morale-lifting tries?

Secondly, cast your mind back to the slap across the world’s chops that was the 2nd Test between the Kiwis and Ireland earlier this year.

The majority of our brethren across the Tasman were all a-dither because an opponent was able to get within sniffing distance of breaking even for a draw, when in reality their team was below their best and still managed to pinch the cash.

I can only dream of what it must feel like to worry after winning a Test match.

To put this dithering further into perspective, this was a result that was book-ended with a pair of cruel demolitions of the poor Fighting Irish, a team that hasn’t beaten the All Blacks in 107 years of competition. It just makes me green and gold with envy.

Where does this leave the aspirations of the chasing pack? Would someone please think about the fading heartbeat of the international game?

And you can forget about that coveted last bastion of the New Zealand World Cup bogeyman.

That once-reliable mental baggage was washed away with 250 Steinlagers flowing straight from the Webb Ellis Trophy on that famous Auckland evening last year, so who would be surprised if they went on their demon-free merry way and won the next 6-10 World Championships?

The fact of the matter is that the All Blacks exist in a separate stratosphere of ability to their rivals and it may not even be worth trying to beat them anymore. I’m sorry, but I can’t see anywhere in my crystal Gilbert a time where the rest of the planet can entertain thoughts of being top dog.

So that leaves one question. What’s the IRB going to produce as an antidote to allow the rest of the world the ability to don their national colours with at least a smidge of hope?

It’s time to shelve the research into the anti-venom for Martin’s commentary and work this out very quickly.

 

The truth about the NRL TV deal announcement

Don’t be fooled by yesterday’s smiley press conference at NRL land. John Grant and his pizza-scoffing sidekicks are categorically dry-heaving about the new TV deal.

Much like the majority of the NRL fan base, they think a large chunk of the particulars are badly foul and ignorant to the needs of the common follower. In fact, some were ashamed to the point that a press release written in Greek and folded in to a paper airplane was suggested as the method of breaking the news.

I know this is hard to believe considering Grant seemed to be yapping and free-wheeling at yesterday’s unveiling. He had everyone thinking he was a man beaming with a billion smackers worth of confidence and contentment as he repeatedly winked at cameras and gave himself high-fives.

John “Latte” Grant fighting back the urge to curl in to the foetal position.

The fact of the matter is that he was in a state of delirium after being filled from neck-to-ankle with espresso after a night’s worth of legal uppers at the negotiation table. It was a shield of coffee bean bravado on show, and it was hiding away raw internal terror.

Grant and his suit brigade were so frightened to release the deal, secretly known on the inside as “Gyngell’s hostage demands”, that they went to the extreme of trying one of the oldest chestnuts from the PR manual. Knowing they were going to be caramelised by the searing pan of public opinion, they tried to slowly and carefully usher the news out into the world hidden in amongst much attention-seeking from the periphery.

We’ve all seen it before. Interest rate rises on Melbourne Cup day, government spending cuts as grand finals kick off and announcing Big Brother’s return in the middle of Australian medal ceremonies are some examples of PR gurus trying to pull the wool over our eyes. It’s a lazy man’s smokescreen.

So when the ARLC knew they had to tell the universe that we were all being cruelly locked in to another 5 years of Phil Gould’s ghastly rinse and Brad Fittler’s medicated babble, they panicked, necked a skinny cap and called in the experts to cover this ugly deal’s head with a towel and move it swiftly out the back door.

However, a regular decoy runner wasn’t going to muddle the picture. This was a monstro-pimple that required a one-tonner of PR Clearasil from the spin doctors.

It did take a while, but eventually, they got the newsroom combustions required.

Things started leanly. Brian McClennan getting the inglorious toe from the Warriors followed by the NSW Blues naming their new coach?

OK, fair enough. Not total show-stoppers. Hold fire.

Then a lift in spirits. Former NRL CEO David Gallop being named as Aussie roundball’s new CEO?

Now we’re starting to register on the richter-scale. Load the weapon!

Ben Hornby announcing his retirement?

The nation’s attention is captured! Unload this story NOW!

Consumers: Beware of Krisnan Inu

I’ve got one of those modest plastic indoor TV antennas and I’ve named it ‘Krisnan.’ When it comes to providing visual entertainment, it’s a fickle and volatile piece of equipment.

I have to shift its position around the room, move its ears and turn the frequency wheel to try and find the perfect alignment to get an optimal performance. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Right now, I’ve got it sitting on top of 3 encyclopedias and a lava lamp with a neck tie hanging from the left antennae and it’s working a treat. Granted, I also have to stand in the right hand corner of the room with a metal baking tray on my head, but at least I’m getting SBS.

Perhaps his armband should contain a product warning.

See where I’m going?

The riddle that is the real-life Krisnan Inu currently sits in a rich-purple window of performance. But what’s different now compared to the last couple of years?

Right now, the 2012 Bulldogs version is doing the lot. He’s breaking the line, manufacturing magic offloads, nailing targets in defence and goal kicking with the steadiness of a Korean archer. For heaven’s sake, he’s even banging over clutch field goals.

Please!

It’s the version of Inu we banked on seeing for the next 8-10 years after firstly grinned and shimmied his way on the big stage in 2007. If Ben Barba wasn’t hogging the limelight by playing like his PlayStation version with all cheats activated, then the flashy outside back would be the eye-catching story of the season.

Of course, we all give credit to the man. The product guarantee emblazoned on the packaging is currently being delivered to Des Hasler and Dogs fans in spades. But can we take a moment to sift through our rugby league memories for those less fortunate from the past?

This guy ignited turf when he hit the stage with Parramatta and we all had him pencilled in as long-term billboard material. He was the Mark Waugh of league, doing extravagant things with snooze-like ease while we all sat by agape like starry-eyed teenage girls. Especially the disciples in blue and gold.

But the faults starting creeping in after his first year, and the reliability would only resurface very occasionally for him at Parramatta, usually just regularly enough to keep his price tag healthy and the Eels fans confused and bothered.

Then the Warriors were drawn to the merchandise and picked him up on a decent contract, no doubt parting with good cabbage in the hope he would be refreshed by a change. His trademark laconic style remained but unfortunately he never tuned to the frequency of the squad, leaving him again looking like an ineffective player who didn’t give a parrot’s cracker and subsequently triggering a mass bonfire of Inu footy cards in Auckland.

As a cynical consumer of footy, this was where I marked him as a total product write-off. It was time to file him under faulty stock as ‘intermittently operational.’

Eels and Warriors fans weren’t as polite with their labels though.

Now he’s at the Bulldogs and the former drip-feed of showtime plays and peace of mind workability has turned into a biblical cloudburst. Someone in Belmore is wearing that baking tray on their head and all signals are crystal. The picture looks damn sharp.

But what about the short-changed former fans?

Are we going to see Eels and Warriors fans file a class action through Consumer Affairs to get their money back? Or will we see Daniel Anderson front a sting on A Current Affair with the well-worn ‘dodgy builder with unfinished work’ style story?

Through the eyes of the scorned, Inu has been allowed to continue trading with a proven track record of unreliable functionality.

The second half of 2012 has seen consumer trust once again being re-established by the boom Kiwi, but to those true believers right now, I give the warning: beware of the future.

Before we make him the darling of carefree league again, let’s remember those who have been left with big bills and unfinished work.

Someone should check with Des that he’s filled out his warranty card.

Aussie Kevin Pietersen

Could it be that Kevin Pietersen is spectacularly cutting ties with England in a bid to give Australia a leg-up before the next Ashes?

You’re not alone if you think that his latest actions are so cuckoo that they are nothing more than a blatant ambush on the wellbeing of English cricket. I’m with you, and I even reckon he’s on the first steps to gaining honorary citizenship here with his adopted long-lost convict cousins.

Being a petty fan of Australia who is longing for some Anglo-sporting upper hand, I firstly enjoyed watching this daytime soap play out before me purely for the value of seeing our famous opponents squirming. Then as they further destabilised, I turned in to a fully devoted groupie who salivated over every new episode.

That’s definitely a cup of Vegemite.

But now this supreme theatre has gone on too long to be classed as your average team sports controversy.

To be fair, we’ve always known that Pietersen is the poster-boy for those who march to the beat of their own drum- a category of human more commonly referred to as the self-absorbed arses of this world- but a collective blind eye has always been turned in the Old Dart while ever the balance sheet between performance and hullabaloo was resulting in a net profit of runs.

However, his egotistical tendencies have sent him deep into the red this English summer, and the total sum of his actions point to only one outcome.

Treason.

Have a look at Pietersen’s summer of discontent and tell me: are these the actions of a potty Englishman? Or a covert spy with damage on his mind?

Firstly, opting to take the low-tariff labour of IPL rupees over the treasured fame and glory of national limited overs representation. This was with England tasting regular success and whilst at his peak, and not to mention firmly in the knowledge that crapping on the flag in such fashion is not widely accepted by Poms.

Then there was the about-face with a feeble and naive attempt at extending the olive branch by offering to return to the shorter forms of the game in the national colours, but only on the outrageous condition that the punishing schedule was relaxed.

And what about the emotional unloading in the press conference after the 2nd Test against South Africa where he dropped a dressing shed scatter bomb by suggesting there were issues with team harmony in the England set-up?

It’s textbook spy conduct of the finest subtlety.

He then complemented his nifty groundwork with some brutish warfare. How about these manoeuvres?

There was the blatant mingling with the South African team just hours within the start of a Test, which he followed with a spray of Afrikaans at his captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower after they berated him for mixing with the enemy so close to battle.

Then finally, there was the transmission of intel when he sent the opposition text messages containing slanderous statements again about captain and coach.

Are you convinced?

Sure, some would say this is a man trying to get the sack or just a whacko simply missing his marbles. I say he’s an Einstein of anarchy who’s planting seeds of chaos that will flourish in a timely bloom in mid-2013.

And don’t be fooled by his recent pucker-up to the pasty pink cheeks of his countrymen. Simply sending an interaction-free video apology containing a plead to be accepted back in to the fold for all 3 forms of the game is just all part of his plan to muddle the English psyche.

He’s leaving the joint in tatters.

We all thought he was mad when he used to wear that dead skunk on his head. Now we all think he’s mad for doing everything he can in his power to have his name struck from the song list of geezer chants all over England.

You have to read between the lines. He’s trying to help us.

Can we get a Baggy Green in KP’s size from somewhere?

Reminders from London

As London 2012 nicks off out of our lives forever, let’s quickly take stock before the local footy ogre takes over and ponder what the Olympics mean to us all.

Do you think of them as a wonderful potpourri of cultures that forms over a heaving banquet of blue ribbon sport? Perhaps a magnificent quadrennial celebration of the human spirit? Or is it nothing more than simply the globe’s physical elite enjoying a jumbo shindig facilitated by javelins and nose clips?

All of these pleasant and IOC trademarked answers are true in some regard.

Despite this, when the heady euphoria and gooey cheer of the Games dissipates, I believe we can pick through the bones and find a more useable purpose for this leap year money-printing factory.

Besides melting away the social and ethnic differences between countries for a few weeks, as well as completely freezing out unauthorised broadcasters and 95% of the corporate world, I firmly believe that the Olympics performs a retune of bearings for our insular, code-centric sports community here in Australia by providing an injection of perspective on a few local opinions.

Here are some examples:

Toughness

There’s no doubt our squadron of chiselled bruisers from across all codes are as leathery and formidable as 3 macho ute adverts played back-to-back. And for the fans and media, there’s no string of superlatives or amplified metaphors too large when talking up their feats.

However, I backed off on the boofy lingo for our locals when I witnessed the actions of a German monster who dropped 195kg of dumbells on top of his head in the weightlifting.

His reaction? He briefly grimaced, then stood up and calmly exited stage left on his own volition.

I think there’s a bug on my neck.

That’s the equivalent of a 2.5 man crusher tackle, which wouldn’t even rate on the grading radar, and he didn’t even try to stay down for the penalty.

Pressure

State of Origin, Grand Finals, Bledisloe Cups, stage fright when trying to give a urine sample. These are just some of the examples of the unforgiving Hades kitchen of burden that compresses down on the meat-packed shoulders of our props, rovers and flankers every season.

But can pre-match self-doubt or a bothersome arid bladder be compared to a nation’s eyes of expectation laser-beaming down on an individual at an event so important that they’re not even permitted to put their sponsors logo on their tights?

These unfortunate Robinson Crusoes like Sally Pearson, Jessica Ennis and Chris Hoy must have really felt the strain of that grand piano on the back that all the callers are repeatedly mentioning.

I guess they only have to wait 4 more years to have another crack at it if they stuff it up.

Corruption

We’ve seen various incidents where the integrity of footy has been treated like a nightclub mop by shifty players and off-field miscreants here at home. Throwing the odd game or a self-plunge has happened on our watches, but unfortunately, the urgency of reaction from the front office hasn’t always matched the gravity of the crime.

Investigations by expert panels that have dragged on incessantly and even the careless and ignorant approach to bury the head deep in the sand are some of the ways in which our well-paid chiefs have dozily responded to these situations.

“What price on the TAB did you get for these guys?”

In London though, the sleepy ostrich motif was nowhere to be seen when the sport of badminton was so brazenly soiled by 8 players from China, Indonesia and South Korea, who all tried to massage a saloon passage to the business rounds by rolling over.

It was devastating for the sport’s reputation as well as downright offensive on the optic nerve, and the bigwigs at London didn’t faff around by pulling the trigger on immediate bans from the tournament for all involved.

I didn’t see a single column inch about badminton draft picks afterwards either.

 

Fundamentals

We lament our misfiring team’s ability to deal with the nuts and bolts of the game when they fail to catch a pass, hit a target or knock over a simple penalty goal. Not even having all week to refine technique through rehearsal under the guidance of a coach seems to prevent their skill set deserting them at the worst possible time. A lot of the time.

If you’re currently flicking the beads on an abacus to calculate how your team can avoid the cellar in 2012, you’ll know what I mean.

In spite of this, we’ve got to give our lads a loving post-fumble head tap. Watching the majority of all athletics field events at London helped me discover that competitors at Olympic level shank their craft more often than not.

Ooooohh SNAP!

Years of grainy and limited highlight packages on SBS French News had me thinking that every pole vault contest is 45 consecutive cleared bars, but in reality, its a jamboree of misplacing, mistiming and amusing foreign cussing.

It makes a sub 60% completion rate drop-a-thon seem quite acceptable in comparison.

 

Fuifui Moimoi

Australia has extracted megalitres of good times from the coolest moniker in Australian sports since he debuted in 2004.

Whether it’s the undeniable appeal of the rhythmic repetition of syllables or the simple enjoyment of repeating it with Ray Warren tonality, the big guy’s inclusion on a team list still delivers the LOLs.

Poor Stambles…

In light of this, his distinguishable title faces tough competition when compared to the offerings of London 2012. Who spent way too much time taking photos of a freezed television screen for that special keepsake?

Whether it was cursed Bulgarian hurdler Vania Stambolova, the nervous Japanese volleyballer Yoshie Takeshita or the off-the-charts trendy Coolboy Ngamole, the whole event was a reminder that dudes like Moimoi aren’t alone when it comes to charmingly-cool birth certificates.

He’s tailor-made to be a Kiwi hammer-thrower in Rio 2016.

AOC to further punish Olympic bad boys

The Australian Olympic Committee yesterday called a snap meeting to discuss modifying the punishments dished out to team dumb spuds Kendrick Monk, Nick D’Arcy and Josh Booth.

Currently, all 3 athletes are under strict orders from the governing body to leave the athlete’s village immediately at the completion of their events due to previous misdemeanours that were considered a vigorous sling-shotting of their respective sports deep into disrepute.

D’Arcy and Monk. Not much chop on the grey matter.

Prior to the London Games, Monk and D’Arcy were found guilty of an inadequate attempt at impersonating an Australian criminal icon, while Booth was cited just hours after his rowing commitments wrapped up for his role in midnight window shopping without a permit as well as unfairly contributing to the stereotype that all kebab shop owners speak in broken English.

Under the AOC’s simplistic grading system, the 2 events were both categorised as medium-to-high brand impact and low-to-medium sensibility, resulting in their penalties being assessed as level 3 reckless horseplay.

Originally when the rulings were handed down, the committee and the offenders were mutually content with the outcomes and happy to move on, but it appears now that the disciplinary chieftains have had a change of heart.

Sources say they have now grown largely unhappy over the original determinations mainly due to the subsequent public groundswell of disdain towards the trio as well as the nation’s fading sporting identity on the back of a pirate-grade haul of silver so far in London.

The committee is now hell-bent on making a stronger example of the infringing team members by adding further sanctions in a bid to kickstart a change of culture amongst the athlete contingent. With a gross medal tally standing, the cocky boosting of smaller nations such as New Zealand and Kazakhstan and nothing but tumbleweeds in the 1500 metres swimming, there is a mounting paranoia about ensuring all stops are pulled out so the normal business of tacky ‘Gold Rush’ headlines and ‘Aussie battler’ jingoism is resumed at Rio in 2016.

A marathon 6 hour chinwag bore no fruit however, with the minutiae said to still to be determined after the meeting adjourned at 3pm local time. An unnamed insider confirmed this was to ‘allow all members sufficient time to beat closing time at the athletics stadium bar, as well as to get a decent eyeful of Jessica Ennis before her event finished.’

Booth. Was unknown. Now isn’t.

Speculation about the possible changes continues to fly about like stoned javelin, with some saying fines, life bans, community service on Laurie Lawrence poetry tours or public whippings with a cat-o-nine tails made from bronze medals as some of the potential fine-tuning to the original punishment.

However, thanks to the clandestine gum-banging of a sozzled committee member and some reliable Chinese-whispering, we here at Stand, Spray and Deliver can exclusively reveal that the updated conditions of the penalties for Monk, D’Arcy and Booth have already been finalised and are now merely awaiting the rubber stamp, which should be completed tomorrow provided there aren’t too many more saucy babes featuring in the track program.

The directive to immediately leave the village and take no further part in supporting Australian events, now viewed in the current climate of mediocrity as weak and ineffective, will be abolished and replaced with the distinctly new obligation that the trio actually remain within the confines of the athlete’s precinct right up until the completion of the Games, and attend a minimum of 10 events a day involving Australian competitors.

Subjecting the transgressors to the recurring ache of green and gold failure and ensuring they are readily identifiable as Australians at all times whilst in London was viewed as a more attractive and influential way to draw a line in the sand by the committee members, who unanimously voted in favour of the change pending the finalisation of a few supplementary minor conditions.

These could possibly entail conditions such as penalties for the removal or concealment of their Australian team tracksuit, the requirement to partake in unabashed celebrations for any top 30 finishes in all events and a minimum of 25 self-originated chants of ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie’ per hour, with a minimum of 40 for any medal.

 
To confirm the gravity of the AOC’s stance, the three cited athletes will also be fitted with a Lindsay Lohan-style ankle bracelet which will immediately play “Down Under” at high volume when found outside of the boundaries of the village. Unlike Lohan though, the trio will have to endure their punishment sober and clothed to ensure all abysmal events of the remaining days of competition are consigned to memory forever.

There are further unconfirmed reports that the committee is preparing a shortlist of under performing athletes who may also be subject to these penalties.

Stephanie Rice, Mitchell Watt and the entire men’s swimming team were unavailable for comment last night.

A Big Ben in the London Eye… Look at this “Missile”‏

Misura

Punters,

The Dingo is excited!

My own “Big Ben” currently stands as proud as a honeymooners appendage after what’s been spotted through my “London Eye” being cast over the Olympics!

Now I’m not talking about our athletes bringing home more silver than Busking homeless prick…..

I’m talking about the royal crumpet on display at the Olympics!

Don’t worry about the whohar about who was going to carry the Aussie Flag at the opening ceremony….

I’ve had a continual 8 Day Flag pole in my pants that would carried the southern cross no worries at all.

Get a look at the sample of what has been making my flag fly….

Antonija Misura…  Never heard of her? Don’t worry about hearing about her… Just get a look at her!!!!!!

Let’s just say I’d be happy to Cro ate her!!!! She certainly could play with my Bballs!!!

Yurkovich

Marta Zderic…. Another Croatian…. Who’s speciality is Handball…. Enough said!!!!!

Naomi Flood… Im already wet just writing this

Rachel Yurkovich- she makes the Russian men jerk of a bit

Sophie Polkamp…. Yeap another “pol” expert

Casey Eastham… Again the Flags are pointing in a northly direction!!!

Yelena Isinbayeva- Pole Vaulter… However would need to hit some kind of record to get over this “bar” setting!!

Elisa Di Francisca- fencer… So has experience with Swords!!!

Di Francisca

And they reckon a few pills or nasal spray will help any bloke having Flag pole issues….

The Dingo says just sit down to the London….
It’s certainly giving us its best performance!!!

Happy viewing!!!
Dingo UP & FLYING THE FLAG

Warming the Pine

Sport for those with comfortable couches.