Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
15 December 2014
From my reading of books, papers and magazines in 2014; from watching TV or sitting in a movie house or just plain listening to people yarning there are always quotes to jot down; Here are some of my favourite 'Quotes' (on any subject) from 2014 (Jotted down in my notebooks in no particular order): (And, by the way I've also jotted down the WORST sports commentary quote of the year. It's at the bottom of the page!)
First - the BEST ones! This one concerns the rugby hooker Keven Mealamu who has now set the record for playing in the most first-class games in New Zealand history. Said an un-named teammate; "We believe he's put his arms around his All Black propping mates more times than he has put them around his wife!"
"Looking at a women's cleavage is like looking at the sun. You don't dare stare. You just get a sense of it - and then look away quickly!" Jerry Seinfeld at some function.
The Bible made a guess at the outcome of the 2014 New Zealand General Election; "The heart of the wise man inclines to the right; the heart of the fool leans to the left." Ecclesiastes 10:2
The Bible also made a judgement on the Wellington rugby team's awful 2014 season: from John 11:35; '...Jesus Wept..."
A critical quote about the current Government in power in Australia: "Fumble, Bumble, Tumble, Stumble and Mumble. The Abbot Government embraces all of the 'umbles - except Humble!" Phillip Adams - 'Oz Wit' edition 16 August 2014.
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain!" (A sentence on a card, presented by her friends to my granddaughter in 2014 on her 13th birthday - and written by poet Vivian Greene.
An anonymous quote which could apply to any sport; "Don't be afraid to go out on a limb, of that's where the best fruit is often found..."
"You can't stop the march of Father Time - nor the effects of his missus - Mother Nature! In sporting terms they are both formidable - though we all know Father Time is undefeated!"
"They used to say the two most important men in any rugby team were the tighthead prop and the reserve tighthead prop!"
The ex-English rugby player Peter Robbins used to say; "Welsh rugby players, if not born, are certainly conceived on a rugby field!"
WORST TV commentary Quote of the Year; (In the light of the on-going discussion about the dangers of concussion in all sport - Colonel Bob Sheridan's commentary on the replay of the knockout punch at the recent Joseph Parker v Irineu Beato Costa Jnr fight in Auckland, surely does NOT help) Over the video Sheridan uttered the following inanity.
"Oh! See that head-snap! Wow! That's a brain-stem knockout! It's where the brain crashes into the side of the skull!"
The All Blacks and Scotland end at 0-0 - the most recent occasion (up till 2014) that the ABs have had this 'nil/nil' score in a game.
Auckland and New Zealand
41 internationals for N. Zealand 1977–85
A 2 metres (6ft 6ins) tall lock forward, at one time the tallest man to play internationals for his country, Andy Haden became a giant in the sport in other ways. He rose above early arguments that he was not aggressive enough to make a career as a top-class international forward, and by the end of his time in top rugby he was one of New Zealand’s great locks.
Haden had excellent lineout skills, was a solid scrummager, and around the field he often surprised with his mobility. As a captain and touring All Black he became one of the craftiest competitors in the game. Every Welshman will tell you how Haden ‘cheated’ to make referee Roger Quittenton award a last-minute penalty to New Zealand against Wales at Cardiff in 1978. The big New Zealander tilted and dived out of a lineout, giving the impression that he had been pushed. When the penalty – awarded for an offence by Geoff Wheel, not for Haden’s dive – was converted into points by Brian McKechnie, the All Blacks won the game by 13 points to 12. Years later Haden still has to live with Welsh criticism of his dive that day.
He first made the New Zealand team for the 1972–73 tour of Britain and France, but did not make the international games on that tour, and after being dropped the following year, he disappeared off the New Zealand domestic scene for a time. He continued to play rugby, but combined it with seeing the world, becoming one of the first truly global footballers, playing for clubs in France, England and Italy.
Back in New Zealand in 1976, Haden was chosen for the All Black team for the tour to Argentina where, under captain Graham Mourie and coach Jack Gleeson, he blossomed, playing in both the unofficial tests. By 1977 he was drafted into the All Black test team for his first official caps. Thereafter Haden was a regular choice for his country and he went on every tour on offer, except when business interests interrupted his rugby in 1983 and 1984.
Haden became one of the champions of players’ rights and he took on the rugby establishment in New Zealand. His attempts to better the lot of New Zealand’s international players led to misunderstanding and suspicion of him, resulting in charges of professionalism being laid on him by the New Zealand Rugby Football Union in 1984. He defended these successfully, though there were many who were not as convinced of his innocence in 1986 when he was part of the organising of the unauthorised Cavaliers’ tour to South Africa. Charges were leveled that the team took payment to play its tour and Haden, as one of the principal organisers, faced many questions on his return.
Haden played his final game for New Zealand in 1985 in Buenos Aires on the All Black tour that replaced the cancelled official tour to South Africa. He had accumulated 41 test caps and 117 tour matches for his country.
On the Teen Rugby Show on TV in New Zealand (on 18 July 2006) which All Black used the words; 'bugger, shit, shits and shithouse' in a five minute item.