Saturday, 20 October 2007

The Final

South Africa deserve to win the RWC final tonight, and if they don't, then all credit to England - they'll have done it the hard way. SA have ran in 33 tries, many of them top drawer, in scoring > 30 points in each of their six games - but at the same time they haven't really been tested yet. Hardly their fault though. England must score early - they can almost close a game out with 70 minutes to go.

That NZ article was a disgrace, but hardly reflective of the average Kiwi opinion. If been beaten by France who in turn were beaten by England and in turn beaten by the Boks makes him feel better about the state of world rugby, and the balance of power between the hemispheres, then that's his prerogative. But it's his opinions on Argentina that are truly galling. They have single-handedly made this competition, and tired as they must have been, their approach to the 3rd place play-off last night was truly inspirational. Leguizamon and Hernandez have been 2 players of the tournament, with Pichot, Corleto & Contepomi (Felipe) not far behind.

So, off to my South African neighbour's house now to cheer on the Springboks, and hoping for a final to grace the tournament with.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Rockies october classic

21 of 22 - what an incredible run, clinching the wild card spot by one game, it beats the run of the Broncos in Elway's 97/98 went they went 18-1. Now before the Rockies clinched their first pennant in their 15th season with their 7th consecutive playoff win, 21st in LoDo was named Rockies Road.

When I was going to see the Rockies when Coors field opened, it was the Blake Street bombers - Andres Galarraga (the cat), Larry Walker, Vinny Castilla and Dante Bichete, the later nearly winning a triple crown in 95. Now, in a so called hitters ballpark, Coors Canaveral even, the Rockies have a team ERA of 1.77, that's one of the lowest in MLB history for a postseason. In reality since the introduction 5 years ago of a humidor for baseball storage, it's relatively average in terms of long ball hitting. Even before that though, pitchers could do well - I was there when the LA dodgers visited on 17 Sep 1996 and Hideo Nomeo threw a no-hitter. We were all on our feet for that, back then you could buy a ticket on the day for a $1 to get into the Rockpile (centre field bleachers).

Todd Helton is the only survivor from when I last saw the Rockies in 98. After blowing big wads of cash on 2 pitchers who got injured in the early naughties the Rockies started building from within, and now the majority of the roster are homegrown, In game 4 against the diamondbacks they were 1-0 down when Seth Smith, a 1 month major league veteran, stepped up for a pinch hit and doubled a fastball for 2 runs. But it's been pitching & defence that has brought the pennant, Willy Taveras diving full length catch in the NCLS games 2 was a prime example.

I fancy the red sox nation to take the indians to 7 sunday night but regardless on who goes to the series they will be meeting one of the hottest teams in baseball postseason history, who hopefully will not have gone cold with the eight day layoff. After the Broncos and the Avalanche it could be a 3rd major sports championship for Denver in 10 years. What other cities have managed that?

Kiwi whinging

Chris Rattue is a winging disgrace in the NZ herald. Some of the all blacks had to fly back in economy because they had their flights booked for 2 weeks later, that is the reality, they had their worst world cup ever.

Waughboy what's the perspective from down under?

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

What about them Rockies!

I was just going to start writing baseball before I got side tracked by
George Monbiot's excellent investigative journalism on Gary Player
building golf course in Burma. And then I get a text from Blaker, just
now, how about them Rockies! The cat's out of the bag!

This October has been a project of some weeks. Moving into a house in
Andover which had channel 5 but not digitally, meaning I could not record
on the PVR and therefore not watch in it's entirety (can't do
3/4 am's with this job). A fiend told me about joost - where you can
actually watch al the playoffs games live and highlights over the web -
it's awesome, an easy download and works great. But I fancied the bigger screen.

The land ladies big tv is an 80s model and it took a post on the newsgroup to find somewhere I could buy an adaptor to convert from it's 7pin din to scart so I could connect the PVR. Then I had to talk our 60 year old land lady into splashing out 200 quid (she's getting enough short term lease money from us in fairness) to upgrade her aerial to digital. This happened last Friday - 3 weeks before we are out of the house!

So it was with much satisfaction and anticipation I finally sat down at 11
last night with a port and ice to watch baseball - Channel 5's Sunday night
show recorded. Got a good summary of what's been going on so far - wow,
another early exit for the Yankees, Hall of famer to be, Joe Torre, is in
trouble with Steinbrenner's sons taking over.

And then it was game 3 of the Rockies! Crazy stuff. 12 years ago I scalped
into the Rockies only 2 previous playoff games (before this season) in
Coors field with Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux pitching. Now here they were
with a home grown team - the only players I know are Helton & Matsui.

Watched the first 3 innings fully focused but then had to do other stuff
like booking ferry...a wee bit busy getting the loose ends tied up...but
before I crashed it was still 1-1 in the 5th. I'll still watch more
tonight even though the result is now known! Thanks Gav :-) I fancied the
Rockies anyway, 2 up coming back to Coors, no way for the diamondbacks.

My favourite time of the year!!

Friday, 12 October 2007

Semi final winners & spread

The quarters reminded us never to take things for granted in sport.

France 18 England 12
Argentina 17 South Africa 10

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

McDaid strikes gold!

McDaid sir I salute you. I hope you went to the bookies with your rugby know how, fantastic forecast. My £20 on France at 9-1 is looking good pocket money but you could have cleaned up on that call!

I knew the All Blacks were chokers too...but somehow got caught up in the hype again. Why did they not go for a drop goal in the end...still wanting to win in style. They needed to be in the group of death to have had a few matches first. Hopefully we can meet them at the groups stage next world cup, which they won't loose at home.

Now that Doug Howlett has passed Cullen's record and played the last time for the All Blacks and is going to Munster for the money he trashes a few cars in the Hilton!

Friday, 5 October 2007

RWC Quarter final predictions

Ok so the semi line seems obvious but how about the winning spread...

Australia by 20
All Blacks by 15
Argentina by 25
South Africa by 15

Add your predictions in the comments
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