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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Is Dan Carter Worth $2 Million?

Dan Carter is past his best, but has reportedly signed a $2 million deal with French club Racing Metro, he is past his best, but is he worth $2 million?

Should Alcohol Sponsorship Be Banned in New Zealand?

Alcohol sponsorship will be banned if the proposed changes to regulations by the New Zealand Government come into play, but should alcohol sponsorship be banned in New Zealand?

It is difficult to know how much alcohol sponsorship encourages people to drink, but alcohol companies do make a lot of money and do put plenty of money into teams, events and even sporting website advertising.  Remember when smoking sponsorship was outlawed?  I think it was more the banning of smoking in public places like workplaces, bars and restaurants which changed things, but it is really hard to measure this.

The All Blacks being sponsored by Steinlager probably doesn't help with the mindset of young people who now probably associate the All Blacks with beer sponsorship and the rugby booze culture, even though some of the All Blacks have insisted that not drinking has helped their game, the rugby booze culture still lingers.

It will be interesting to see how many teams, events and sports struggle as a result of no alcohol sponsorship, while something like gambling websites could also soon find themselves out of favour which would harm plenty of the English Premier League teams for example.

It has always been good in the past to have alcohol sponsorship, is society becoming too politically correct or is this social responsibility a welcomed change?

I wouldn't mind seeing an end to alcohol sponsorship as it will force teams, sports and events to think outside the square, but I can see some parties struggling without the extra money.


Monday, December 15, 2014

All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen Appointed Until 2017 - A Good Move?

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has impressed during his tenure as All Blacks coach so much that his contract has been extended until 2017, taking him beyond the next Rugby World Cup and British and Irish Lions Tours.  Do you think this is a good move?  I think this is great and shows a long term view rather than short sighted pettiness which plagued some previous campaigns.

I like the commitment shown to Steve Hansen who will now feel confident in his job as All Blacks coach heading into the Rugby World Cup 2015.  This is a move away from the past when All Blacks coaches were dumped after unsuccessful Rugby World Cup campaigns.

It is refreshing for anyone in their job to get a long term contract to give them the confidence to perform to the best of their ability, but what happens if the All Blacks don't win the Rugby World Cup?  I find it frustrating that previous coaches were dumped simply because their All Blacks team didn't win the Rugby World Cup, no matter how good their record was between Rugby World Cups.  For example, I think Laurie Mains should have been retained, while Wayne Smith is too good to have not coached the All Blacks for longer, although he is involved these days.

Only Graham Henry has taken a team to more than one Rugby World Cup tournament and the perseverance and confidence of the selectors were repaid!

Should Steve Hansen have been offered such a long contract as All Blacks coach, even though he may not coach the All Blacks to Rugby World Cup victory?

Recent All Blacks head coaches
Steve Hansen 2012 to present day
Graham Henry 2004-2011
John Mitchell 2001-2003
Wayne Smith 2000-2001
John Hart 1996-1999
Laurie Mains 1992-1995
Alex Wyllie 1988-1991
Brian Lochore 1985-1987

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Where To Buy Your New All Blacks Jerseys!

The new All Blacks jerseys are on sale for about $200NZ in New Zealand, but it is possible to buy one for cheaper overseas if you trust online retaliers.  I first noticed on a trip to the UK in 2011 that All Blacks jerseys are cheaper there than in New Zealand.  It is simply a case of location, with the jerseys being more expensive to be shipped to New Zealand than the UK.  If you do some searching on the internet, you can find the latest "the blackest jersey ever" jerseys for cheaper online in US dollars.  Once you do the maths, you realise that even with postage and exchange rate conversion, New Zealanders can buy their All Blacks jerseys for cheaper overseas than in New Zealand.

The bad news is that if you want to give one as a Christmas gift, then it is too late if you buy overseas, but local physical stores will probably have some Christmas sales where you may be able to save a little on these jerseys to bring them down in price.  At least that way you can try it on as the new jerseys are designed to be tight fitting.  You also have to watch it as the actual jersey similar to the ones worn by players are $200, while the supporters jerseys are $150.  I am not actually sure which ones the online stores have because they only have one, but here are some places to consider buying these jerseys.  For the record, I often buy the old jersey as it is usually reduced to clear once the new one is released.

I am not endorsing these companies and take no responsibility for their reliability or lack thereof.

1)  www.kitbag.com has free worldwide delivery and the new jersey for $104 US.  This is crazy cheap.

2)  www.lovell-rugby.co.uk has the jerseys for 87 pounds including delivery.  This is still cheaper than the $200.

3)  www.lillywhites.com always has some good prices.

If you know someone coming back home from the UK, then you could always get them to bring one back for you which may save you some money.

Why is it that there are millions of illegal replica football shirts throughout the world, but very few rugby ones?  Is this why rugby jerseys cost more?

Have you found any good deals on All Blacks jerseys?  Do you buy online or instore?
With the unique fitting of these new All Blacks jerseys it could be better to at least try one on instore before buying.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Super Rugby Tips 2014 Rugby Awards - Thoughts For 2015 - Do You Agree?

The Steinlager New Zealand Rugby Awards 2014 marks the end of the rugby year for New Zealand players, coaches and fans, while few would argue with lock Brodie Retallick winning the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial, Super Rugby Tips gives out there own awards for 2014, before asking some questions.

All Blacks Bolter Of The Year - While the Sonny Bill Williams grabbed headlines for coming from the Roosters NRL season to become a starting All Black, but it was always on the cards.  What wasn't on the cards was Malakai Fekitoa who went from being a Blues discard to starting for the Highlanders in 2014 and ended up starting in the All Blacks midfield by the end of the season.  It was truly a meteoric rise for someone who was fighting for a starting Super Rugby spot at the the start of the season.  Who will be the bolter next year who could from nowhere to make the All Blacks Rugby World Cup squad?  I am thinking that it might be a third hooker since James Parsons, Nathan Harris and company haven't quite grabbed their chance yet, maybe Quentin MacDonald?

Comeback King - You could put the All Blacks in that category, but Colin Slade deserves this award.  Who would have thought after seeing his nervous performances for the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup 2011 that he would be the one to come off the bench and score the winning goals in pressure test matches.  His goalkicking and cool head ended up outshining the likes of Beauden Barrett, Aaron Cruden and Dan Carter.  Who do you think will be the three first five eighths to represent the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup?  

True Class - No matter what way you look at it, All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is true class.  He is in his mid 30s now, but he has the ability to change his game, based on the state of his battle weary body.  He has lost a yard of pace, but still manages to get to the ball quickly.  He always pushes the boundaries which some fans don't like and that have seen him targeted by referees, but you have to admit that he is still a class act.

Full credit - I love it when teams and players punch above their weight.  In Super Rugby, out of the New Zealand teams, I loved the spirit shown by the Highlanders, even though they didn't win the thing, they performed admirably.  In the ITM Cup Premiership, Taranaki and Tasman were brilliantly refreshing in a competition normally dominated by bigger teams.  In the ITM Cup Championship Manawatu and Northland get my vote because they didn't have many big names but still surpassed expectations.   It will be interesting to see which teams exceed expectations in 2015, any picks?

New Zealand coaching prowess - Steve Hansen has been great with the All Blacks, while there are various other great rugby coaches with New Zealand pedigree.  While Steve Hansen won the Steinlager Award for coach of the year, Super Rugby Tips is amazed at the calibre of other New Zealand coaches both in New Zealand and overseas.  Colin Cooper was great this year, while Tony Brown really helped the Highlanders attack.  It is funny seeing coaches like Joe Schmidt (Ireland), Vern Cotter (Scotland) and Warren Gatland (Wales) turning around Northern Hemisphere teams.  I only hope that they don't knock the All Blacks out of the Rugby World Cup!  

On an international note, Super Rugby Tips would like to acknowledge the performances of the All Blacks, but there have been some promising performances by other teams.  Ireland, Scotland and Argentina have produced some great performances, while South Africa, France and England look to be on the right track heading into Rugby World Cup 2015.  Ireland would be my most improved team, just ahead of Scotland, while Argentina's maiden win in The Rugby Championship cannot be underrated. 

What do you think of the Super Rugby Tips 2014 Awards and Questions for 2015?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Steinlager Rugby Awards Winners 2014 - Do You Agree?

The Steinlager Rugby Awards 2014 winners were held with Brodie Retallick winning the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial for All Blacks Player of The Year.  This was a great decision given Retallick's form and the fact that he was also the IRB Rugby Player of the Year.  
The All Blacks and Steve Hansen won the Team and Coach of the Year Awards again.  I wonder what they have to do to not win the awards given the season that Taranaki had in the ITM Cup under coach Colin Cooper?  The Chiefs know all about this bias when they didn't win the award either despite winning two Super Rugby titles.

Highlanders player Malakai Fekitoa won the award for the Try of the Year.
Here is a list of the Steinlager Rugby Awards Winners 2014, do you agree?

New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year
Damian McKenzie (Waikato)
Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year
Dean File (Horowhenua Kapiti)
New Zealand Rugby Referee of the Year
Glen Jackson
Heartland Championship Player of the Year
James Lash (Buller)
New Zealand Rugby Women's Sevens Player of the Year
Sarah Goss (Manawatu)
Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year
DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau)
Fans Try of the Year
Malakai Fekitoa; Sharks v Highlanders
NPC Player of the Year
Seta Tamanivalu (Taranaki)
Super Rugby Player of the Year
Jerome Kaino (Auckland)
Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year
Aaron Smith (Ngati Kahungunu)
New Zealand Rugby Women's Player of the Year
Rawinia Everitt (Auckland)
New Zealand Rugby Coach of the Year
Steve Hansen
Team of the Year
All Blacks
Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Rugby
Dick Littlejohn (Bay of Plenty)
Kelvin R Tremain Player of the Year
Brodie Retallick (Bay of Plenty)

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