Great value sports weekend

What a great sport weekend.

I used to grizzle about the amount Sky insisted I pay for sports – actually not so much the sports but what they demanded you get and pay for that wasn’t sport and I didn’t want. And their streaming option was limited, poor value and technically poor. I kept cancelling my subscription between the seasons of things I particularly wanted to watch

Last year they improved their offerings somewhat, meaning I could get sport for $55 per month, $12-13 per week, not much more than half what they had previously charged.  On an average week I think this is reasonable value.

This weekend the value was very good, especially with a number of great results.

Of course for me Otago winning the Ranfurly Shield was a highlight.

Then I watched some of the women’s league test between New Zealand and Australia and the standard of play was impressive. Unfortunately a close loss.

Last night seeing a very different Kiwi league team impressively outplay the Kangaroos was great.  I hope they can keep up the standard.

This afternoon the Silver Ferns beat Australia, outplaying them also very impressively. This is a very different team to the disappointing one of the past year or two.

And I managed to also see some of the Breakers beat last year’s NRL champions Melbourne, with a bit of an eye on Southland losing again to finish their season winless.

I also fitted in some golf, with both the PGA and LPGA on yesterday (but weirdly the final day of the LPGA was not on today).

I even managed to some work outside. I’m not much good with a golf stick but not bad with a chain saw and slasher.

And I also watched some free streaming, seeing two games of the Roller Derby finals weekend (not great results for the Gallow Lasses though).

So some excellent surprise results and plenty of variety. Very good value.

Otago win Ranfurly Shield

For just the second time in my lifetime Otago have won the Ranfurly Shield, taking it off Waikato.

They attacked well in the first half, and defended very well to hold out Waikato, who made some game losing mistakes on attack near the end.

So we get a home semi-final by finishing second in the Championship, and get to keep the log of wood for the summer. This means if we choose easier opponents before the competition starts next year we might get a good chance to hold it this time (we also won it off Waikato, then we were robbed in 2013 by a poor non-decision by the referee in the final seconds in the first defence3 against Hawkes Bay).


Go! Go! Go Otago!

A busy day today – I’ll do a bit of campaign work (already started) but most of my time and energy will be spent on the Huge challenge for Otago.

The heart and soul, the spirit of Otago has been revived this past week. The first defence of the Ranfurly Shield takes place this afternoon in what will be a rocking and roaring stadium.

A lot of hard work goes into political campaigning but once in a lifetime events like today are too big to miss.

Sometimes sport takes over

There’s a lot going in with Labour’s leadership – and their current leadership vacuum. Sort of interesting as it plays out, but that’s going to take a few weeks.

But this morning sport is most prominent in my mind.

I’ve been watching an absorbing finish to the Ashes series, with a win in the final game possible until bad light and an umpiring decision to call it quits prevailed.

Lydia Ko has scorched into the lead in the final round of the Canadian Open where she is defending her title.  She’s just gone to 5 under after eight holes to hold a 3 shot lead.

But the growing glow after Otago’s Ranfurly Shield win hold pride of place. An edge of the couch finish to the game followed by elation I don’t think I’ve experienced before in a game I haven’t played in. Followed by a weekend of jubilation around Otago as the reality set in. I went to the stadium yesterday to see the shield in Otago hands for the first time for me (and many others).

I’ve booked seats for next Sunday’s challenge, and now anticipate an unprecedented build up through the week. I’m going to drop into a radio station breakfast this morning.

Isn’t there an election campaign on? Yeah, but the significance of the shield is dominating all the local news – and many local thoughts. So let’s enjoy it while we’ve got it.

There was plenty of pride, passion and determination evident in Otago’s win on Friday.

I was planning on pride, passion and determination in my election campaign. That’s still the plan.

And I’m determined to do what I can to instil more pride and passion in leadership in Dunedin city through the next council.

The Otago rugby team will hold the shield for as long as they are able to. This is a real boost to the province and to Dunedin. But it will only be temporary.

In Dunedin it will be up to the next mayor and a new council to continue determination, pride and passion for the city and for the people of the city.

A very proud Otagoite

I’m a staunchly proud Dunedinite and Otagoite. And I’m especially proud at the moment of the Otago rugby team for a staunch performance against Waikato last night.

For the first time in my like I’ll be seeing the Ranfurly Shield in Dunedin and in Otago.

I watched many shield disappointments over the years, and have learnt not to hope until the final whistle, there have been many dashed hopes in the final few minutes.

But last night the Otago team held strong, held out Waikato, and lifted the Log O’Wood!

The fifty six year drought is over.

This win was more thrilling than any other game I haven’t played in.

Let the celebrations continue 🙂