Underarms, Catamarans and Food Poisonings

Warriors advanced in the most complicated finals system ever!
September 19, 2008, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Rugby League | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Although I’m not the hugest league fan, I am quickly becoming one. Watching the Warriors in the last few months striving their way to the finals has provided more excitement than the Air New Zealand Cup. The team’s exploits are the best advertisements a sport could have. One week on from taking down Melbourne, the Warriors topped that victory with a fantastic come from behind win against Sydney to win 30-13 and advance to the next round against Manly. The headlines have been priceless, “Warriors weather Storm” and “Warriors cook chooks”, so I cannot wait to see what we will be said if the Warriors beat the Sea Eagles.

So league is definitely looking good in my books (sexual assault allegations and defections aside). But what the hell is with the play off system? Does anyone understand it?

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Good week to be a Kiwi sports fan!

First New Zealander Scott Dixon wraps up the Indycar Championship on Monday, capping off an incredible season. Then the All Blacks retain the two most important trophies in Southern hemisphere rugby, with a brilliant 28-24 comeback win in Brisbane. Then the Warriors do the unthinkable and topple favourites Melbourne in the NRL 18-15, to go through to play the Roosters at home next weekend. Not a bad week of sports at all.

What was impressive about the Warriors and the All Blacks was how they won. The All Blacks fell behind with the Wallabies scoring on both sides of half time and the Australians could have run away with the game. But the New Zealanders just dug deeper and had more to offer than the Australians, who lost their momentum. The Australians looked like they had no answer, despite knowing what we were going to do! It looked edgy when the Wallabies scored late, but we held on for a deserved win. Despite early hiccups in the competition, the All Blacks were easily the best and most consistent team in the Tri Nations. With so many talented players playing overseas at the moment, the future of New Zealand rugby is looking bright, especially considering some of the skilled players coming up domestically. Just wait till our Europe based players come home!

Level on points at half time, the Warriors always were in with a chance of causing the upset, but the safe money would be with the in form Storm. To use the cliche – someone obviously did not show the Warriors the script. They were staunch on defense repelling wave after wave of Storm attack, whilst at the other end, the Warriors came so close to scoring on several occasions. A drop goal with quarter of an hour to go looked like it would be enough for Melbourne to be victorious until an awesome break saw Michael Witt score in the 78 minute. First time ever that eighth place has beaten first in the NRL finals. Bring on the Roosters!

Despite what some may say, New Zealanders don’t choke on the big occasions, in these cases they knuckled down. Sure we might fall at the last hurdle sometimes, but that’s sports, you can’t win them all. But when you play with the determination and passion that both teams showed this weekend, you give yourself a good chance of coming away on top.