Wednesday, March 25, 2015

25 years in Australia

I have now lived in Australia for 25 years. It's not news to anyone, but the longer I've been in Australia, the attachment I feel towards New Zealand grows. That's not to say I don't like Australia, its just NZ is part of who I am. A lot of this piece echoes my sentiment, even if it is in places unnecessarily provocative.

So, this post is a little about NZ, a little about Australia, and the rivalry between. The recent world cup clash added another chapter.(and maybe a meeting in the final will too....)

What better place to start than with some of my lasting memories in Trans-Tasman sport.

  • Hadlee's 9/52 and Crowe's 188 (1985/86)
  • Whitney & McDermott batting out most of the last hour against Hadlee in Melbourne (1987)
  • Both McGrath & Warne's highest test scores came against NZ (Gillespie and McGrath put on 114 for the tenth wicket, McGrath made 61, 2004),
  • Warne made 99 before he decided to offer catching practice in 2007.
  • The 2007 Chappell-Hadlee trophy series - NZ chased over 340 twice (and won the series 3-0)
  • Bracewell's 6/40 (and Warner's hundred) in Hobart. (2011)

Rugby Union
  • George Gregan's tackle (1992), Mortlock's intercept or Carlos Spencer's pass, (2003), numerous last minute penalty goals or tries (by Burke, Kefu & Eales). Does anyone else remember Eales stopping a penalty before it went over the crossbar. 
  • The All Blacks flawless 43-6 win in torrential rain (Wellington, 1996)
  • Lomu's try after the siren in the first Rugby Union international at Homebush. The All Blacks won 35-31; and the test has been described as the best played.
  • The one Bledisloe cup I saw at ANZ Stadium (won 50-21 by the All Blacks, 2003)
  • The miracle in Brisbane last October.
  • The closeness of the Netball results most tests are decided by a handful of goals, I can only remember two which were won by more than six goals. Both NZ and Australia have won in Extra-time.
A few other sporting memories (which don't involve Australia)

  • At school watching the All Blacks game against Italy during the 1987 world cup
  • The drop goal in 1995, the two French disasters; this song sums it all up
  • Madly refreshing a phone during the last few minutes of the World Cup Final in 2011. 
  • The miracle in Dublin (2013)
Rugby League
  • Any win by the Kiwi's is one to cherish, given they are so rare (the World Cup win in 2008, the 24-0 win in 2005, and last year's Four Nations where they beat Australia twice) would be the highlights. :) 

Other sports... 
  • The America's Cup Win (and retention) before the amazing loss in the 2013 series (they led 8-3 before losing 9-8.
  • Can't forget the All Whites being the only undefeated team at the 2010 World Cup, despite leaving at the group stage. 
  • The Breakers - who were the first team from NZ to win in an Australian competition, and earlier this month won their fourth tittle in the past five years.
  • The Phoenix have done really well in the A-League and may not have a better chance to win the competition

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