Friday, January 02, 2015

On the sporting field - 2014

The two standout moments from the year were Brendan McCallum’s innings of 302 against India. When he came in, NZ were in real trouble; his innings enabled NZ to save the game.

McCallum’s had a great year - his innings against Pakistan in November turned that test too. It’s hard to fault his leadership on (and off) the field too.  For mine, he'd captain the test team of the year.

It's easily the best year I can remember for NZ Cricket, since Hadlee and Crowe were playing. Hoping that its a good omen for the World Cup. Here's Cricinfo's take on NZ's year in cricket - which mentions a number of details I forgot. (Chloe Saltau's Test team of 2014 is pretty well on the money)

The second, was Auckland FC, who finished third in December’s World Club Championship (beating the Moroccan champions, the African champions, the Mexican champions, and a gallant 2-1 loss (after extra time) to the South American champions.  Maybe there are good things on the horizon for NZ soccer. ;)

The year ended with the tragic death of Phillip Hughes, Martin Crowe's comments are worthwhile reading.

Other notes on the year:

The Football World Cup --  Germany became the first European team to win the world cup in South America. A world cup of surprises, specifically with Brazil and defending champions Spain no doing so well. The first half of the Germany-Brazil game was unforgettable. On the flipside was how well Colombia, Chile did. (Australia were courageous… but still have work to do, and the Asian Cup will be a big test for them).

The Swans had a great season, the only sour note was their performance in the Grand Final. Hopefully better things in 2015.  The Rabbits won their first premiership in my life-time.  I can hardly believe it, but NSW won the State of Origin.  NZ’s performance in the Four Nations was pretty impressive (they are on a two game winning streak against the Kangaroos).

The Winter Olympics & Commonwealth games were held this year too, but I can’t remember much of either, aside from the fact that the Diamond's dominance over the Silver Ferns continued, and the NZ Seven's team lost ;) The Hockey World Cups were held this year too, with Netherlands winning the Women's and Australia the Men's. (As an aside, would love to see the Men's and Women's Football World Cups held simultaneously like for the Hockey).

On to 2015... 
Looking forward to a few World Cup’s next year, the Men’s Cricket World Cup, the Rugby Union World Cup , the Women’s Football World Cup and the Netball World Cup.; not to mention the AFL & NRL. At least the Swan's Grand Final loss is now last year, and April is not too far away ;)  On the NRL, all I want for 2015 is a consistently good Warriors' team.

It’s going to be a great year.

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