Dylan Cleaver: Why it's hard to trust the Blues & Warriors

Publish Date
Tuesday, 9 April 2019, 11:52AM
Getty Images

Getty Images

By: Dylan Cleaver

Everywhere you looked this weekend, there were reasons not to write a sports column.

Exhibit A: The Blues are back.

Gawd, where have I heard that before except for every year divisible by one?

No, but they might actually be back. That's four wins in a row.

Yeah, nah. Rouse me from my apathy when the Blues beat a good team away from home.

Remove this shroud of cynicism when the dynamic and ultra-talented Akira Ioane can make it through an entire match without sledging or shoving his hand into the face of some poor mug on the opposition.

So, pass.

Exhibit B: The Warriors are back.

Are they? Really? Did they even have enough time to go away again after being back last year?

It's a tough one to make a case for.

As dreadful as they were in rounds two and three, they still sit sixth equal in a typically congested NRL table.

If you can get a solid read on the NRL beyond the fact the Roosters will be there or thereabouts in October, you're doing well.

It does bear noting that the two teams the Warriors have beaten — both from the comfort of Mt Smart Stadium — have a combined two points and a points differential of minus 101.

The two teams they've capitulated to have eight points and plus 40.

The season is still in nappies but if you wanted to draw conclusions, you could say the Warriors look good enough to beat the bad teams and bad enough to lose to the good teams.

That's hardly column material though, is it?

In other exhibits, Lydia Ko turned in a treading-water performance at the year's first golf major, which was overshadowed by Juli Inkster's "analysis" that she could do with a trip to the buffet counter.

Even accounting for the fact that the insult would be far greater in reverse, it seemed a particularly obnoxious observation — albeit one that might have passed by untweeted in an age when offence wasn't currency.

If you were really stretching, you could force a column from the opprobrium, but it would be a cheap one.

Then there's the ongoing confusion around New Zealand's 15-man squad for the fast-approaching Cricket World Cup.

How do you lack the foresight to get your back-up wicketkeeper, Tom Blundell, a single one-day international before selecting him?

And hands up who else remains unconvinced by coach Gary Stead's assertion that Kane Williamson didn't pull rank on the Ish Sodhi v Todd Astle second-spinner dilemma.

There could have been a column in that, but I'm a bit late to the party.

The Hurricanes remain enigmatic. Interesting, but already covered recently.

The Crusaders are still really good. Others are better at telling that story, and during a lull in their inevitable victory over the ordinary Brumbies, I switched to Tasmania anyway, where the best rivalry in New Zealand sports continues.

If I learn a little bit more about valve trains and carburettors, I might push out a Scott McLaughlin v Shane van Gisbergen column one of these days, but for the moment, the Supercars remain a fascinating mystery.

So as it stands, I've got nothing.


 THE MONDAY LONG READ ... I recently came across this in Longreads. The top is interesting but there are also handy links to a number of other stories you should really bookmark and read later.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission