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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

All Blacks into final after beating Australia 20-6 | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News

Otago Daily Times sports editor Hayden Meikle blogs live as the All Blacks take on Australia at Eden Park in their Rugby World Cup semi-final. 

10.44pm: IT'S ALL OVER. The All Blacks win 20-6 and are into their first World Cup final since 1995. Bring on France, in a repeat of the 1987
final. See you next week. 

10.41pm: More great defence from the All Blacks. Wallabies massively frustrated. Outstanding work by the men in black. 

10.40pm: YELLOW CARD. Sonny Bill goes in with the big shoulder on Quade Cooper. Dumb. Ted will not be impressed. 

10. 35pm: PENALTY. Weepu, back on because Ellis was spitting blood, kicks a penalty. The All Blacks lead 20-6! Sonny Bill is on! And we're in the World Cup final! 

10.33pm: HUGE scrum by the All Blacks and they are starting to show some emotion now. Time to celebrate! 

10.29pm: MISSED PENALTY. Cruden misses that one. Still 17-6 to the All Blacks with just 12 minutes to play. 

10.28pm: Too soon to start celebrating? 

10.25pm: Too soon to start celebrating? 

10.20pm: Ellis for Weepu, and Williams for Whitelock. And Israel Dagg has just attempted a drop goal and missed. Badly. 

10.14pm: Too soon to start celebrating? 

10.09pm: Mistakes creeping into the Wallabies now. My editor, a very wise man, points out it is because they are playing "catch-up footy''. He's an Australian, by the way. 

10.05pm: The Wallabies have had a good little patch here. But there are hardly any gaps in the black line of defence. 

10.01pm: PENALTY. Weepu slots his third penalty and the All Blacks lead 17-6. 

10pm: The second half is under way. And there's an early chance for Weepu as the Wallabies try to shift the ball and the tackler holds on. 

9.53pm: Some impressions from the first half, then. The All Blacks have got to be pretty happy. They've looked aggressive and keen, with Israel Dagg and Kieran Read prominent. Aaron Cruden has stood up, and Cory Jane has done some good things. They should maybe be another 5-8 points to the good, but so be it. The Aussies have again done reasonably well to be hanging in despite conceding a massive possession and territory disadvantage. The match ain't over yet but I still think the All Blacks have this won. 

9.45pm: HALFTIME. Nervous wee moment for the All Blacks as the Aussies go on attack. But it turns to nothing. All Blacks lead 14-6 and are 40 minutes away from their first World Cup final since 1995. 

9.40pm: PENALTY. Unlucky moment for Australia as Ashley-Cooper gets pinged for accidental offside. Weepu nails it. All Blacks up 14-6 with 2min to halftime. 

9.36pm: DROP GOAL. I said England wasn't playing. This time it's Quade Cooper actually doing something well. The Aussies held on to the ball for a million phases but couldn't find a way through. All Blacks lead 11-6 after 32 minutes. 

9.32pm: Dagg again on a big run. He is just looking sensational tonight. But the All Blacks' momentum breaks down when Tony Woodcock drops the ball cold. 

9.30pm: Quade Cooper is the worst rugby player in history. He just duffed two kicks in a row. Robbie Deans needs to take him off or the
Wallabies are done. 

9.28pm: OOOFF. Massive Kahui tackle on Quade Cooper. Everyone loved that. 

9.26pm: DROP GOAL. And this is not England playing. Interesting call by Cruden, who sets himself up perfectly and slots the pot. All Blacks lead 11-3.

9.24pm: Wallabies make a change at prop. Sekope Kepu off and James Slipper on.

9.20pm: MISSED PENALTY. The powderpuff Wall abies scrum conceded a penalty. From about 40m, Weepu misses. The All Blacks will be slightly annoyed their dominance is not being translated into a big lead.

9.18pm: Wow, scary moment there. Huge run by Digby Ioane, and the Wallabies probably should have scored. Great tackle by Conrad Smith on
Radike Samo. McCaw concedes a penalty, and O'Connor slots it. All Blacks lead 8-3. 

9.15pm: PENALTY. Weepu makes no mistake with that one. The All Blacks lead 8-0 after 13 minutes. They could be up by 20. 

9.12pm: MISSED PENALTY. All Blacks have been completely dominant but missed an opportunity there. Weepu's penalty attempt bounced back off the posts. 

9.08pm: TRY TO THE ALL BLACKS. In Izzy we trust. Lovely angled run by Israel Dagg. He tears the Aussie defence to shreds, possibly steps out, but passes in to Nonu for the try. Weepu just misses the conversion. 

9.06pm: Wow, it's all happening at Eden Park. The All Blacks look supremely up for this game. Jane kicks ahead and O'Connor carries the ball back over the line. 5m scrum for All Blacks. 

9.04pm: Lovely kick for field position by Piri Weepu. Aussies clear, but Cory Jane takes quick throw. Lovely run by Dagg. Exciting start to this

9.02pm: Quade Cooper kicks off and it goes out on the full! Sure, Quade, the boos don't worry ya, mate. 

9pm: Haka time. I thought they'd do the new haka and indeed they do. Has Piri Weepu usurped Buck Shelford as the best haka leader ever? 

8.58pm: National anthem time. Nick Afoa with Advaaaanncce Australia Fair. Quade Cooper looks TERRIFIED. Seriously. And Elizabeth Marvelly handles our bicultural ballad. What, no Hayley? Look into Richard Hugh McCaw's eyes and tell me the All Blacks are going to lose this game. Nope. 

8.57pm: Right, time to put my prediction out there. I only picked one quarterfinal out of four, but that is MEANINGLESS. The All Blacks will be too strong up front. They are supremely motivated. Piri and Ma'a are the key men. And they're at Eden Park. All Blacks win by six. 

8.55pm: You should all know the team news by now. The All Blacks have welcomed back Israel Dagg and Richard Kahui to the back three, and wee Aaron Cruden becomes our third starting first five at this tournament. Richie McCaw has warned his foot to hang on for two more weeks. The Aussies are Kurtley Beale-less, and that's a huge loss for them. David Pocock is playing but does not have his beloved Bryce Lawrence beside him. 

8.51pm: And for those league fans, ouch. The Kiwis have been thumped by the Kangaroos. Does any one care? We've won the ones that have counted in recent years. 

8.50pm: For those of you who have been living in a cave, one World Cup finalist has been found - and it's not Wales, sadly. France won 9-8 last night, in a match destined to be remembered for the sending-off of Welsh captain Sam Warburton. The incident has sparked plenty of debate. For what it's worth, I think Alain Rolland got it right 

8.45pm: Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of the Rugby World Cup semifinal between the All Blacks and Australia. I'm not nervous. At all. Are you?

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Just in case you do not know the National Anthem and how loud you should sing it -of course, very loudly

Next Article: Man in ICU after concrete cube falls
All Blacks v Wallabies: Loud and proud stand up and sing
By Scott Morgan
9:30 AM Sunday Oct 16, 2011
Young All Blacks fans sing the national anthem during the Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Japan at Waikato Stadium. Photo / Getty Images

Sing it loud and sing it proud.

 Tonight the All Blacks face their toughest test of the Rugby World Cup against Australia.

 It doesn't matter whether you're at the match or watching at home.

 At 9pm, rise and take these words in your hands. Sing with passion.

 The All Blacks need you. Your nation needs you.

 You will not be alone.

 The Ministry of Culture and Heritage has had three times the number of people looking up the anthem on its website before All Blacks games.

 The Herald on Sunday has provided the words (see below) - and New Zealand Choral Federation conductor John Rosser has a few tips on how to sing it.

 He says fans will get the best results from standing with their feet about 20cm apart with knees slightly bent.

Before singing, breathe deep into the abdomen.

 "Take really relaxed, deep breaths. It gives you more breaths for singing phrases."

 Rosser, who conducted the choir at the tournament quarter-finals in Wellington, says learning the words is important.

 "There's nothing worse than not knowing half of your own anthem."

 Rosser says belting it out encourages others to join in - as happened when he and a friend let loose during the All Blacks' quarter-final last weekend.

 "We stood up when it was time for the anthems and everyone sort of stared at us. We let rip and very slowly everyone else stood up.

 "All they needed was two people to say, 'Yeah, we are going to sing this'."

 Victoria University Associate-Professor of Psychology Marc Wilson says singing the national anthem is just one way people can feel they are making a difference.

 "It's a way of vicariously feeling like you're part of something."

 The anthem is also linked to New Zealand's national identity, Wilson says.

 "It's a good way to make people feel proud of being a New Zealander."


 E ihowa Atua,
O nga iwi matou ra
Ata whakarangona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau to atawhai;
Manaakitia mai

 God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.

* If you want to practise beforehand, you can sing along to the version recorded by the New Zealand Choral Federation choir and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra by clicking here.
By Scott Morgan | Email Scott 
Video Cup semi: NZ 
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"The rousing sing-a-longs go a long way towards creating the brilliant atmosphere we've seen on display so far this tournament."
 Eveline Harvey; Rugby World Cup blog: Advancing on the TV, scaring the cat 
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Remember Jonah, make you feel good for tonight's game and the big one tomorrow

Chokers, Chokers Chokers! - Aussie media sinks boot into All Blacks25
By Simon Winter
10:45 AM Saturday Oct 15, 2011

Graham Henry and Richie McCaw will both be looking to reach their first World Cup final tomorrow night. Photo / Greg Bowker
"What's the difference between a tea-bag and the All Blacks? A tea-bag stays in the Cup longer."

Or, how about, "What do you call 15 guys sitting around the TV watching the Rugby World Cup final? The All Blacks."

Australian rugby columnists are queuing up across the Tasman to sink the boot into the All Blacks, ahead of tomorrow night's second Rugby World Cup semi final between the All Blacks and Wallabies at Eden Park.

The Daily Telegraph's Mike Colman has labelled the All Blacks, "The biggest chokers since the Boston Strangler".

And the jokes have been coming thick and fast.

The Telegraph is calling on its readers for the best All Black jokes, among them this: "Have you heard about the All Blacks new bra? All support but no cup."

Colman says "the All Blacks are in the finals and the wheels are falling off".

And he's not alone in sinking the boot.

The paper also quotes Wallabies forward Wycliff Palu saying New Zealand's "history of choking in the tournament" would play into Australia's hands.

"Yeah, I think so, and I think if the game is pretty tight towards the end, especially losing someone like Dan Carter, that added pressure to a young guy like Cruden or Weepu in No.10 is going to be a bit too much."

Well thanks very much Wycliff.

Meanwhile the Sydney Morning Herald's controversial Peter Fitzsimmons, a former international now expert on all matters, who is currently commentating on the Cup for Maori TV, has penned an open letter to New Zealanders entitled "Kiwis, it's time to choke".

He starts "Dear Kiwis ....How do we know you're anxious? Because your collective knee-knocking and teeth-gnashing have been keeping our children awake across the ditch", and continues,"We all know that the three great traditions of rugby are tossing the coin before the match, giving three cheers for the ref afterwards and the All Blacks crashing and burning in the World Cup semi-finals."

A World Cup hoodoo it might be, yet the Aussies have been quick to dismiss their own Eden Park woes.

Aussie great Greg Cornelsen, who scored four tries at the ground in an Aussie victory in 1978, says the hoodoo is "just in the minds of New Zealanders".

"I don't think that's a factor at all. The boys are playing magnificently, and they're really hitting their stride at the right time."

Yes, the mind games are in full swing. At the very least one hoodoo will be broken at Eden Park tomorrow. And the Australian critics will be proved right - or wrong.

Friday, October 14, 2011

One Australian whose comments I do enjoy - Rugby World Cup: Please choke, Yours Sincerely Peter... |

Please choke, Yours Sincerely Peter FitzSimons


Last updated 10:16 15/10/2011

OPINION: Dear Kiwis

I write on a delicate matter.

It is this. We dinkum love you people. For gawd's sake, stop worrying so much about your World Cup semifinal match against the Wallabies tomorrow night in Auckland. How do we know you're anxious? Because your collective knee-knocking and teeth-gnashing have been keeping our children awake across the ditch.

Look, we all know that the three great traditions of rugby are tossing the coin before the match, giving three cheers for the ref afterwards and the All Blacks crashing and burning in the World Cup semifinals. (A tradition you only missed last time because you flamed out in the quarterfinals.) And it is true that the All Blacks have never beaten the Wallabies in World Cup encounters, suffering famous defeats in 1991 and 2003.

We are in agreement that in the absence of your champion injured fly-half, Daniel Carter, the two blokes who have taken over are more anonymous than wrong numbers and the rest of the back line now look like lost orphans. And all right, you've got us - we cannot argue that while the Wallabies back-rower David Pocock turned in the performance of his life last week, your own champion, Richie McCaw, has a crook foot and looks to be the ghost of Christmases past in football boots.

We Australians do understand all these things. We also recognise that last week the All Blacks struggled to put away a relatively lowly team like Argentina while our blokes played a shocker against the titleholders, the Springboks, and still managed to put the brutes to the sword with a compelling, comprehensive and conclusive ... two-point victory.

And on that subject, you don't have to tell me that ever since the All Blacks won their sole World Cup victory, back in the inaugural tournament of 1987, when dinosaurs were still roaming the earth, it is the team that has beaten the incumbent world champions that has gone on to win the Cup.

As a matter of fact, we know that because the Wallabies have done it twice, beating your lot in 1991 - or did we mention that already? - and the Boks in 1999.

Please don't be haunted by the fact that the bloke you decided wasn't good enough to coach the All Blacks after their disastrous quarterfinals dismissal in 2007, our very own Robbie Deans, is now the architect of the Wallabies resurgence this year into winning the Tri-Nations and threatening in this World Cup.

Australians don't want to focus on such things. We barely talk about them at all, honest we don't. The point is that whatever happens, we implore you, in the silent watch of the night, when you're staring at the cracks in the ceiling, don't let any of the above factors creep up on you, get their fingers and then their hands round your throat, start to tighten ... and make you CHOKE!

For you guys are like our beloved brothers and sisters and, though we do love beating you in sport, it is not quite with the same savage joy we love beating the Americans in a few things and the Poms in everything.

And always remember this. Over every four-year period, everyone knows that you have the finest rugby team on earth for three years and 50 weeks. Is it really so bad if we Australians snatch a fortnight, here and there?

It's only a game.

Enjoying your lovely nation, as we speak,

Peter Fitz


P.S. On the off-chance you do win, you'll have all of Australia behind you for the final.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Been off to the Doctor

Had a bit of a sniffle for some time and have not been allowed out till it got better, well this morning I am still sniffing so Doctor Mei takes me off to the Central Hospital so someone can take a look.

Started with an aah! and a stick poked down the throat and blood pressure, then off for about 4 jars of blood to be extracted for various tests including prostate, then it is the ear nose and throat doctor who pokes up me snorer and in my gob for another look and tells Mei that I have some kind of allergy so he prescribes some nasal sprays and tells me to return in a few days for another peering into the nose and mouth.

Then we go to another department which turns out to be an ulrascan of vital organs including prostate again and all clear and picked up a new student to come and learn English with me. (The doctors daughter) She announced that some part of me in my nether regions was bigger than Chinese men to which Mei and Doctor both giggled, not sure why.

I return to the original doctor with test results and am pronounced very healthy, no worries and no problems.

Return home to have breakfast of bacon, sausages and eggs, toast and tea and another day off, after the nasal spay has been administered.

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