March 2016

The Weekender 20/03/2016

A day late and a dollar short? We had a great weekend away at a friends
bach but let's see what happened.
The Warriors had another loss but they looked good in the second half
coming back from 12-4 at the break to lead 12-14 before losing 21-14.

So Super Rugby results from last weekend. The Melbourne Rebels went on to
beat the Queensland Reds 25-23, the Cheetahs just beat the Sunwolves 32-31,
the Chiefs thrashed the Southern Kings 24-58 on their first game of a
gruelling trip. The Sharks beat the Stormers 18-13.
This weekend the Hurricanes thrashed the Western Force 41-6, the Chiefs had
a thrilling 26-30 win over the Jaguares, and the Sharks held on for a 16-16
draw with the Bulls to remain the only unbeaten team in the competition.
The Highlanders beat the Waratahs 26-30, the Rebels beat the Sunwolves
9-35, the Crusaders thrashed the Kings 24-57, the Reds & Blues drew 25-25,
the Lions beat the Cheetahs 30-22, and the Stormers beat the Brumbies 31-11
for their first loss.
NZ: Chiefs 14, Highlanders 13, Crusaders/Hurricanes 10, Blues 7. Australia:
Brumbies/Rebels 13, Waratahs 6, Force 5, Reds 3. Africa 1: Stormers 14,
Bulls 6, Cheetahs 5, Sunwolves 1. Africa 2: Sharks 15, Lions 13, Jaguares
6, Kings 0.
Staying with Rugby, the Vancouver World Sevens tournament last weekend saw
NZ beat England 7-0, France 24-10, and USA 17-5 to make the quarter finals.
They met Samoa and won 17-12 and then beat South Africa 19-14 in the final.
It just so happens that someone I introduced to Rugby was there to support
the boys in black.
Finally, there had been talk of Wayne Smith heading overseas but he has
re-signed with the NZRU for two more years. Nehe Milner-Skudder is having
shoulder surgery which will see him miss the rest of the rugby season - a
tough break after a great year last year.

Scott Dixon started the defence of his IndyCar championship by finishing
seventh in the first race.

I've been contemplating that while Twenty20 cricket is fun, it's far too
hit & miss to have a "world cup". Sure the tournaments are fun so have
something, but the current ICC World Twenty20 seems like a coin toss.
Anyway, it's started and the Black Caps aren't doing too bad. In a tough
group they came up against favourites and hosts India to start with and
after looking at the pitch played three spinners leaving out their star
strike bowlers. Good call for new captain Kane Williamson as NZ beat India
by 47 runs. NZ reached 126-7 which was more than enough on the slow pitch.
Then against Australia, NZ reached 142 for 8 which looked low, but with
regular wickets and poor performances from Smith & Warner, it was an 8 run
win for the Black Caps. Two from two in a tough pool is a good thing.

The Black Sticks men had a close draw after scoring 5 seconds before time
for a 3-3 draw with Korea in Auckland for the first of a four game series.
They then improved greatly to thrash them 7-1 in the second test. The final
game was a 1-1 draw for a 2-0 series win.

Finally for sport, Tom Walsh made NZ history this week by becoming the
first kiwi to win gold in 16 editions of the world indoor athletics champs,
with a shotput throw of 21.78m. He will be back to his building job after
*NZ News*
Two term new politician and Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker won't be back
after deciding not to stand for reappointment.

The honour of Parliaments speaker of the house has been restored somewhat
after apologies from Labour MPs were received and accepted. They had called
the speaker political and biased. Now no further action will be taken.
But it still wasn't a good week for Labour with leader Andrew Little going
on some very strange attacks. He must have been reading from Winston
Peters' play book when he attacked foreign chefs by claiming Labour would
limit overseas cooks from taking jobs in NZ, and then it looks like he was
pushed into saying they would legislate interest rates for banks (forcing
them to pass on cuts to the official cash rate). They are odd things to say
but he couldn't back down after saying them.
*The Numbers Game*
5: on the Richter scale quake for near Hanmer Springs and a 4.6 shortly
after, another couple of quakes in Christchurch today, fraying more nerves
30: drowning deaths this year after another horror weekend
61: mm of rain in four hours for Tauranga saw roads closed with flooding -
anything over 6mm/hr is considered heavy
18,000: people convicted of being intoxicated behind the wheel, a drop of
35% on 2010/11 financial year - but just a drop of 5% for those prosecuted
three times or more
463,000: $ loss for the NZRU last year
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4691 (0.0009)
EUR 0.6027 (0.0020)
USD 0.6794 (0.0093)
AUD 0.8925 (-0.0002)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Matilda Fraser
Named as a finalist for the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards.
*Joke of the Weekender*
100 ways to phone in a pizza order

41. Amuse the order taker with little-known facts about country music.
42. Ask to see a menu.
43. Quote Carl Sandberg.
44. Say you'll be able to pay for this when the movie people call back.
45. Ask if they have any idea what is at stake with this pizza.
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos

Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take
you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes
it's even just an opinion}

The Weekender 12/03/2016

Hello, the warm weather continues around here. Too warm that is. A cool
change for winter will be nice for a while!
In last weekend results, the Western Force beat the Queensland Reds 22-6,
the Bulls beat the Melbourne Rebels 45-25, the Stormers beat the Cheetahs
20-10, and the Sharks beat the Jaguares 19-15. The Chiefs headed to South
Africa without Brodie Retallick who is out for 4-6 weeks with broken ribs.
And after two losses, the Reds have fired their coach Richard Graham with
the assistants taking over - but that hasn't helped yet, right now they are
16-0 down against the Rebels after 1/3 of the game. While at the Waratahs,
they have appointed a kiwi Andrew Hore (not the former All Black) as chief
executive, joining Darryl Gibson (the former All Black) as coach.
Last night the Hurricanes beat the Blues 23-19 after the Hurricanes got two
controversial calls in favour. The Brumbies beat the Western Force 31-14,
and the Highlanders had a good game beating the Lions 34-15 with Ben Smith
being as elusive as ever.

There were a couple of poor results last weekend. The first was the
Breakers who chose the deciding final game of the finals series to have
their worst game of the season, losing 75-52 for their first runner up spot.
And also the All Black Sevens crashed out of the Las Vegas tournament with
a 22-0 loss to Kenya and then beaten 14-7 by South Africa in the quarter
final. Fiji went on to win, beating Australia 21-15 in the final.

Eddie Dawkins came second in the men's keirin at the world track cycling

The Football Ferns had a 1-0 victory over their hosts Portugal in the
Algarve Cup.

The Warriors stayed in the game for 60 mins before the Broncos moved on to
a 25-10 win.

The Wellington Phoenix are certainly an enigma. Tonight they beat Sydney FC
*NZ News*
The government, along with help from the opposition, have passed the
Employment Standards Legislation, which outlaws "zero hour contracts" - the
practise of employers requiring employees to be available for shift work
with no guarantee of work, nor compensation.

There was a major incident in the Bay of Plenty this week. A plane
searching for cannabis crops was fired on near Otakiri, so the police moved
in and cordoned off the property. The Armed Offenders Squad were called in
and four police officers were shot and injured, before a man was arrested
22 hours later.
*The Numbers Game*
30: residents in Hanmer Springs were evacuated to the town sports pavilion
after a massive fire cut off the town and threatened houses
96: GB of data per month average for NZ homes these days, almost double
that of last year
25,000: people turned up last Sunday for the Port of Auckland Round the
Bays 8.4km fun run
66,200: $ awarded to John Banks in costs from the Crown after acquittal for
his electoral returns for mayoral donations
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4682 (-0.0087)
EUR 0.6007 (-0.0156)
USD 0.6701 (-0.0059)
AUD 0.8927 (-0.0229)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Dr Ranginui Walker
Dr Ranginui Walker was a prominent leader, historian and academic for
Maori, who passed away at his Auckland home this week.
*Joke of the Weekender*
100 ways to phone in a pizza order

36. Imitate the order taker's voice.
37. Eliminate verbs from your speech.
38. When they say "What would you like?" say, "Huh? Oh, you mean now."
39. Play a sitar in the background.
40. Say it's your anniversary and you'd appreciate if the deliverer hid
behind some furniture waiting for your spouse to arrive so you can surprise
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos

Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take
you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes
it's even just an opinion}

The Weekender 05/03/2016

And time marches on. Welcome to March.
In the Super rugby match-up from the final of last season the Highlanders
edged the Hurricanes 17-16 in a thriller. While in Hamilton the Lions
shocked the hosts 32-36, and the Brumbies beat the Waratahs 32-15 for the
first time in four matches. The Blues showed familiar traits with a poor
showing to go down 28-13 to the Crusaders. In mid week news, Waisake Naholo
has fractured his right leg and will be out for up to eight weeks, it was
the same leg he broke before the Rugby World Cup. In results from last
weekend the Stormers thrashed the Bulls 33-9, the Waratahs beat Queensland
30-10, and the Sharks thrashed the Southern Kings 43-8.

Martin Crowe passed away this week aged 53, after a battle with cancer, see
more in NZer of the week.

The Warriors had their first game of the season, they started poorly and at
half time were down 28-4. It was impressive that they ended up only 34-26,
but that is irrelevant on the points table.

Tom Walsh has won the head-to-head against Jack Gill for the national shot
put title, smashing his own record with a 21.11m.

The NZ Breakers didn't start the finals series too well, losing 82-76 to
the Perth Wildcats at home, but they bounced back in Auckland to win 72-68,
and head back to Perth for the decider on Wednesday night.

Team New Zealand won their first race but slipped back to finish the Oman
leg of the Louis Vuitton Cup third.

The Black Sticks lost their first game to World number 2 Argentina, but won
the next two games 3-2 and 4-1 to lead the six match series 2-1.

The NZ women have beaten Australia in the second T20 match to win the
series with a game to go.
*NZ News*
Hamilton's Founders Theatre was shutdown this week after fears over the
'flying' system being dangerous for people.

There is a theory going around that the political left suffer from "Key
Derangement Syndrome" or KDS. It seems that political activists from the
Greens & Labour have an irrational hatred of John Key that is out of line
of reality and the wider public. Because of their hatred of Key, they lack
perspective and as a result, aren't an effective opposition.
*The Numbers Game*
31: rowers going to the Olympics - our biggest rowing team ever
64: road deaths for a horror start to this year's road toll - up 16% on
last year, with a jump of 17 deaths in one week
35.5: degC in Clyde last month, part of NZ's second hottest month ever
100: tonnes of aid has arrived in Fiji on HMNZS Canterbury after
devastating cyclone Winston
4,000: $ wedding ring was found at Stanmore Bay, and now the police are
hunting the owner
40m: $ worth of methamphetamine seized by customs, along with a $1m in
cash, and cars including a Ferrari, Lamborghini and a Porsche
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4769 (-0.0048)
EUR 0.6163 (0.0057)
USD 0.6760 (0.0038)
AUD 0.9156 (-0.0175)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Martin Crowe
*Joke of the Weekender*
100 ways to phone in a pizza order

31. Put the accent on the last syllable of "pepperoni." Use the long
"i" sound.
32. Have your pizza "Shaken, not stirred."
33. Say "Are you sure this is (Pizza Place)? When they say yes, say "Well,
so is this! You've got some explaining to do!" When they finally offer
proof that it is, in fact, (Pizza Place), start to cry and ask, "Do you
know what it's like to be lied to?"
34. Move the mouthpiece farther and farther from your lips as you speak.
When the call ends, jerk the mouthpiece back into place and scream goodbye
at the top of your lungs.
35. Tell them to double-check to make sure your pizza is, in fact, dead.
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos

Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take
you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes
it's even just an opinion}